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Posted in Inspiration on 29 Mar 2019

Artificial Intelligence Disrupting The Fashion Industry In A Big Way

By: Jonas, CEO at Spott

The fashion industry welcomes many outrageous ideas but can also come back with some of the harshest criticism.  Style is much more than the fabrication a top is constructed of. It is the presence of confidence through a creatively planned outfit.  Much like fashion, artificial intelligence is highly elaborate to produce the data and strategic outcomes we have seen so far. Working together, smarter technology within the fashion industry is proving to disrupt how we perceive what retail offers today.  

Finding Wearable Solutions

The Apple Watch was one of the first breakthroughs for wearable technology, making its debut in 2015.  The increasing demand of the health conscious technology over the past years has proven positive feedback to smart accessories and established some tough competitors.  The Fitbit and Xiaomi, Fitbit, and Garmin are just a few that offer similar features to track metrics in real time.  The AI technology can help personalize what your body needs based on the individuality of daily activity and structure.  Though the watch holds the leaderboard for most popular wearable technology at the moment, many other products will surpass this type of product by 2021.

One of the up-and-coming companies also embracing artificial intelligence is Arccos.  The company’s prized product is The AI Caddie which is used to improve performance in golf.  The data driven insights help golfers to make smarter decisions in action through sensors inputted at the ends of each club, then pairing with your smartphone.  Golf is a perfect sport that could exemplify the benefits of the geotagged data. Microsoft helped Arccos created a machine learning algorithm so the golfer can learn their best course of action.  Currently Arccos’s AI Caddie has over a half a million courses mapped in the United States.

Still keeping an emphasis on the visual appeal of products, Tommy Hilfiger creatively designed a solar powered jacket that features a battery pack in the right pocket for phone charging.  The overall look has had some split reactions, but it definitely urges other designers to start contemplating the implementation of AI features within their designs as well.

Connecting Closer With The Customers

As “one size fits all” and even the generic sizing charts are being questioned, many brands are seeking the opportunity to embrace personalization.  Hiring a personal stylist is still considered an unnecessary luxury to most, but Amazon has created an alternative solution with the Echo Look. This new speaker/camera rolled out in April of 2017, but has gradually been released to the public through invitation only.  The device has many notable features to help create the best wardrobe for your personal style. First, Echo Look snaps a photo or a six second video which is then stored within the app entitled “Daily Look”. With the combination of AI technology and Amazon’s human “fashion experts” the app ultimately compares two outfits side by side, deciding which one is most flattering.  The Amazon powered camera takes into consideration color, trends, weather, and occasion to make the final call on the most appropriate outfit.

The partnership of fashion and tech is creating a sense of audacity.  “If the algorithm is based on mass approval, it is not going to propose you wear a weird top with one sleeve,” says Alistair O’Neill, professor of fashion at Central St Martins. “It’s going to knock the edges off your preferences and guide you towards an aesthetic that is sort of ambient.”

Another modern brand focused on creating a custom wardrobe experience is Stitch Fix.  Like Echo Look, Stitch Fix takes into account current trends, colors, and styles but also wants to add the “delight” factor.  The fashion brand is a subscription service that sends out personal clothing picks to its users. Stitch Fix is primarily human operated with the help of data.  Over time of the first few choices, the algorithms learn what styles the individual most likely strives for. “We rely on our human stylists to emphasize with clients. For example, when a client writes in to her stylists that she needs something to wear to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, only a human can understand the gravitas of that request.  

The accurate balance of how much artificial intelligence should influence operations has not been defined nor will it likely ever be.  Many experts are optimistic that humans will continue to have conscious control over AI technology and strive to find positive solutions like these companies.  

Jonas De Cooman is Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Spott.ai, a content marketing SaaS platform that allows users to make any content (pictures and videos) interactive, enriched and shoppable. By processing it once, it becomes interactive across all platforms: your own websites, social media channels, third party websites, interactive video player platforms and even physical assets, such as paper magazines and boarding. The Spott.ai dashboard benchmarks performance of every unit of content on all platforms based on views, clicks and baskets. User profiling is available on request.

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