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Amazon patents virtual changing room app with data-led style recommendations

Amazon is developing a fashion app that will allow consumers to trial outfits in a virtual changing room as avatar versions of themselves.

According to a UK patent filed by the retail giant, the app will mine user data to better provide recommendations on what they might like or need. After opting into data-sharing, users will have different data on their phones analysed, such as social media images of themselves and calendar events. Other information such as the weather where they live and where they like to spend their time will also be taken into consideration.

Images of the users taken from their phones will then be rendered into virtual avatars which will enable them to visualise recommendations. The user can then browse outfits and select likes or dislikes by swiping left or right.

The app will further allow users to discover new items of clothing by accessing different tabs such as “search by look”, “randomise” outfits, and “find more like this.” Wishlists and favorite outfits can then be shared on social media.

In recent years, Amazon has hinted at its ambitions of helping users better dress and shop in the home with a series of devices and patents. In 2017, it introduced the Echo Look which similarly analyses user photos to provide style recommendations; in early 2018, it introduced a patent not too dissimilar from this virtual changing room, where a smart mirror will virtually overlay clothes onto the user and place them in different scenarios; and in May last year, it began 3D scanning users in order to explore the future of fit.

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business digital snippets e-commerce mobile product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Fashion’s sustainability pulse, Gucci customization, is blockchain a bad move?

Gucci
Gucci

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Sustainability in fashion is growing, but ‘systemic’ change a ways off [WWD]
  • Blockchain is crappy technology and a bad vision for the future [TNW]
  • Gucci introduces new ‘do it yourself’ customization program [WWD]
  • Nike patent imagines shoes with tiny treadmills built into the soles [Gizmodo]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Apple, Amazon and more vie for us drone pilot program [Reuters]
  • Facebook is launching a new team dedicated to the blockchain [Recode]
  • We were promised mind-blowing personal tech. What’s the hold-up? [WSJ]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • De Beers tracks diamonds through supply chain using blockchain [Reuters]
  • Amazon’s new codes on boxes encourage re-use [RetailDive]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Amazon reportedly could grab 10% of retail sales by 2020 [RetailDive]
  • Walmart’s head of e-commerce on the future of retail [Cheddar]
  • Aldo updates app to streamline trying on shoes in store [RetailDive]
  • Alibaba’s brick-and-mortar mall heralds new growth strategy [Nikkei]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Ikea ‘bullied’ a potted plant while encouraging another, then showed schoolkids the impact [AdWeek]
  • The world’s most popular iPhone app isn’t Facebook or WhatsApp [QZ]
PRODUCT
  • How product customization is driving a new business strategy at Tapestry [Glossy]
  • Ikea and Savile Row tailor William Hunt partner up to create three-piece suits [FashionUnited]
  • $12,350 for a pair of adidas? [BoF]
  • Alexander Wang designs cooler bag with Magnum [FashionUnited
BUSINESS
  • Hudson’s Bay seeks to revive Lord & Taylor’s fortunes [CNBC]
  • Here’s why nobody wants to buy Birchbox, even after VCs spent $90m [FastCompany]
  • Apple’s retail boss will be joining Ralph Lauren’s board of directors [BusinessInsider]
  • YNAP shareholders say yes to Richemont purchase offer [WWD]
Categories
technology

Amazon’s latest fashion device? A virtual mirror

Amazon's virtual mirror patent
Amazon’s virtual mirror patent

It was just under a year ago Amazon revealed its Echo Look device – a selfie camera embedded with style advice. Now, it has a patent for a virtual mirror.

More specifically, according to Geekwire, it’s a blended-reality display that puts your image into a virtual scene, and then puts you in a virtual version of an outfit within it.

The patent describes the mirror as partially-reflective and partially-transmissive, with cameras, projectors, display panels and lights embedded.

“When the user views the mirror, the user sees a reflection from the mirror of illuminated objects in the scene and the transmitted images from the display device through the mirror, the transmitted images being perceived as part of the reflected scene,” the inventors say.

In other words, the face and eyes of the user are scanned so that they are seen as a reflection, while the virtual clothes and the scene behind are transmitted through the mirror. The result is a real-time blended reality look.

A beachside scene is one suggested example – showcasing the user in a swimsuit on their real body.

Geekwire adds: “It’s not clear how close the blended-reality mirror is to becoming a reality, or if it’ll actually be manufactured as a physical object. Amazon makes a practice of refraining from comment on its patents until they produce products. But last year’s introduction of Echo Look suggests that as far as the Seattle-based online retailer is concerned, blended reality is no mere fantasy.”

It also highlights the fact Amazon acquired Body Labs in 2017, a software company that uses computer vision to create accurate 3D avatars. This fits well with a blended-reality product strategy.

Categories
business data digital snippets e-commerce film social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Amazon’s big data ambitions and on-demand textiles, Facebook’s VR, a sustainability deep dive

Amazon's Echo Look
Amazon’s Echo Look

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion business, digital comms and tech industry news over the past fortnight.


TOP STORIES
  • Amazon’s big data fuelled fashion ambitions [TechCrunch]
  • Amazon wins patent for on-demand textile manufacturing [Retail Dive]
  • Facebook launches VR project Facebook Spaces [The Drum]
  • Tech tackles the fitting room [Racked]

BUSINESS
  • LVMH takes control of Christian Dior in $13 billion deal [BoF]
  • Hermès joins trend of accelerating luxury sales growth [Business Insider]
  • Kit and Ace shutters all stores worldwide, except in native Canada [Retail Dive]
  • Retail workers fight to get a cut in the era of e-commerce [Racked]
  • Debenhams unveils its turnaround strategy [The Industry]

SUSTAINABILITY
  • How to cut carbon emissions as e-commerce soars [Bain & Co]
  • Are fashion’s recycling schemes as effective as they seem? [The Fashion Law]
  • Is deadstock the future of sustainable fashion? [Fashionista]
  • The myth of closed-loop manufacturing [Glossy]
  • How much has actually changed 4 years on from the Rana Plaza collapse? [Refinery29]
  • Why is fashion still sleeping on all-natural dyes? [Fashionista]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • How brands are finally cashing in on social with shoppable Instagram Stories and Snapchat ads [AdWeek]
  • Why does the term ‘influencer’ feel so gross? [Man Repeller]
  • Rue21, mode-ai launch virtual stylist with Facebook Messenger group feature [Retail Dive]

MARKETING
  • The state of data strategy in fashion and retail [Glossy]
  • Do podcasts make you wanna shop? [Racked]
  • John Lewis unveils experiential National Treasures summer campaign [The Industry]
  • Mytheresa.com teams with Miu Miu on capsule, fashion film [WWD]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Macy’s and the survival of retailing [Bloomberg]
  • Why retailers are trying on showrooms [Retail Dive]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon builds team for autonomous vehicle technology [AutoNews]
  • Burt’s Nature showcases the Burt of Burt’s Bees in VR [The Drum]
  • Estée Lauder’s augmented reality efforts focus on Europe [L2]

START-UPS
  • Walmart’s tech incubator hires co-founder of Rent the Runway [Bloomberg]