Amazon.com will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and other items from third-party sellers using a new personalization option on its website.
Amazon's 3D Printed Products store (www.amazon.com/3dp) offers more than 200 unique print on-demand products, many that can be customized by material, size, styles and color variations, and personalized with text and image imprints. The store is featuring search tools, interactive 3D preview functionality and a product personalization widget.
With the 3D product preview function, Amazon's customers will be able to 360 degree rotate a virtual model of a product to tailor the item from every angle. After an item is personalized and the customer has finished the checkout process, the item is 3D printed on-demand by a manufacturing provider and shipped directly to the customer.
The store includes modestly priced customizable items sellers are currently offering for under $40, including cufflinks, bobble head figurines and funky wine glass holders. In the $100 price range, customers can design customized fashion accessories like pendants, earrings and necklaces.
In related news, Amazon.com is planning to launch a device that plugs into smartphones and tablets so that they can be used to validate card payments.
9to5Mac get its hands on a set of internal documents from US retail giant Staples that detail an Amazon Card Reader that will go on sale starting on August 12 and that it is going to be selling for $9.99.
Earlier this month, Amazon also quietly launched a mobile wallet app that is compatible with Android smartphones as well as Amazon's own devices. It can currently be used for storing gift cards, membership and loyalty cards; just scan them via a phone's camera and they're loaded into the virtual wallet. However, the app doesn't support credit or debit cards, yet.
An earlier a report from The Information claimed that Apple was also ready to enter the mobile payments space, with the release of a mobile wallet function in the upcoming iPhone.