The Metaverse is poking its head into the 2D Internet. Amazon is adding 3D product shots to its product pages through a partnership with Tel-Aviv based Hexa, a 3D visualization platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to turn merchants’ existing 2D product shots into 3D models. The resulting digital twin can be deployed on websites, social media and in AR applications. The models are interactive, too. Users control the model with their cursor, allowing them to inspect the asset from any angle. Hexa provides storage, management, distribution, and analysis of the models its customers create.

“Working with Amazon has opened up a whole new distribution channel for our partners,” says Gavin Goodvach, Hexa’s Vice President of Partnerships. “Brands now have the ability to distribute 3D experiences and deliver high quantity immersive shopping to Amazon’s global network of customers using Hexa’s proprietary content delivery network (CDN).”

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Amazon merchants using Hexa simply upload their Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) into Hexa’s CMS, and the system will automatically convert the image library for each item into a high-fidelity 3D model.

“We are convinced 3D content will be at the heart of all online and offline retail,” says Hexa CEO and co-founder Yahiel Atias. “You have to make it easy to use, inexpensive, and fast to return on your investment.” Old methods of creating assets through photogrammetry or lidar scanning are less accurate and more expensive.

Macy’s, Logitech, and Crate & Barrel are among the dozens of companies that are already using the Hexa 3D platform for making, managing, and deploying their own 3D assets. The models can be moved onto any web page, social media platform, or game engine with a snippet of code. Hexa’s 3D Viewer facilitates parallel processing, loading at the maximum frames per second without sacrificing computational power. 3D models load as quickly as 2D images and are immediately interactive.

In February, Hexa raised $20.5 million from Point 72 Ventures, an Israeli hedge fund. Hexa’s other investors include Samurai Incubate, SAP.iO, an SAP sub-organization, and HTC. Hexa had previously raised $1.2 million pre-seed, and a $5.5 million seed round, bringing its total funding to date to $26.9 million. The company already has 100 employees around the world doing engineering and business development and says the new funding will enable further expansion.

Charlie Fink is the author of the AR-enabled books “Metaverse,” (2017) and “Convergence” (2019). In the early 90s, Fink was EVP & COO of VR pioneer Virtual World Entertainment. He teaches at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

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