H&M has teamed up with Google to experiment with voice technology for its homeware brand, providing customers with personalized style advice through Google Assistant.
Announced during Stockholm Fashion Tech Talks, the voice app provides suggestions, mood boards and inspiration for every room in the house.
To make the experience even more personal the H&M Home Stylist, as the assistant is called, will reportedly have an exclusive human voice responding. This comes off the back of the Google I/O event last month, which featured an incredibly human-sounding version of Google Assistant placing a call to book a hair appointment.
H&M’s Monki brand has also announced it has partnered with London-based startup HoloMe to test high-definition human holograms in augmented reality.
The initiative sees images of nine select Monki outfits enhanced with digital effects, allowing the viewer to explore each of them in greater detail via their smartphone or tablet and experience the holograms as though they are present in the room.
“At H&M group we constantly work on innovations that create extraordinary customer experiences. The fashion industry is changing fast and technology is more important than ever as an enabler in adapting to an ever-changing society,” says Elin Frendberg, who leads business development for the H&M group.
Both initiatives come off the back of a tough trading time for H&M and a commitment to technology in order to turn things around.
“We know the industry is undergoing a huge shift – the catalyst for this transformation is technology. It’s not just one technology, but a set that includes artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), robotics and more,” said the group’s CEO Karl-Johan Persson at the company’s Capital Markets Day in February.
“There are changing consumer behaviours as a result – they are expecting more and more. They expect a more tailored offering in how we set up our stores, in how we communicate with [them]. They want a hassle free shopping experience, and the ability to shop anywhere and anytime. And they want even better designs at higher quality and better prices.”