From industrial looms to e-commerce, new technologies have remade the fashion world again and again. But oftentimes, new tech-driven innovations take too long to gain acceptance in this famously insular industry rooted in -- and yet resistant to -- change. Fashion entrepreneurs who see the future before others have in the past faced ridicule, as was the case with some of the earliest pioneers of e-commerce, now the source of nearly all luxury market growth. And yet, as the pace of change intensifies and global epicentres of technology innovation, like Silicon Valley, take on a veneer of cool, fashion has become more open to innovation -- at least on the surface. And herein lies the industry's Achilles heel when it comes to technology.
With that in mind, we've outlined 50 ways in which retailers are putting AI into action, from personalising beauty to forecasting demand. While the predominant function of Sephora's Virtual Artist app is to allow beauty buyers to try on products virtually via augmented reality, the brand recently introduced a colour match tool, powered by AI. This tool determines the particular shade of a product on a photo and suggests similar products available at Sephora that the consumer can then try on and purchase. If there's one sector where AI has been making a lot of noise, it's beauty. Olay's Skin Advisor is an online consultation platform that can tell the true age of a user's skin from a selfie. By using AI to both evaluate and determine problem areas, as well as the overall condition of the skin, it also provides personalised skincare routines and reports.
When you hear the word "blockchain," you probably think of Bitcoin, the virtual currency that has gone up exponentially in value over the past few years. But while blockchain technology is best known for its use in virtual payments and other financial applications, other uses are rapidly being developed across every sector of the economy, and the fashion industry is already beginning to discover its possibilities. As enthusiasm for its uses in the fashion industry for everything from inventory management to brand protection grows among early adopters, it's also worth pointing out certain pitfalls that come with employing blockchain, which is still largely untested and unregulated. In simplest terms, a blockchain is a shared database or digital ledger that automatically updates information across an entire network, without the need for a central intermediary. When a user enters information in the ledger, that entry becomes linked to every other entry, or "block," and every other copy of the ledger is automatically synchronized via the Internet.
Gap will soon let customers try on clothes without setting foot in a physical store. The firm unveiled a new pilot app, called the DressingRoom, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where customers can'try on' clothes in an augmented reality experience. Shoppers simply select a Gap style, choose their body type and a digital mannequin wearing the garment appears – and you can also purchase the item from the app. Gap unveiled a new pilot app called the DressingRoom, which lets customers'try on' clothes in an augmented reality experience.Shoppers simply select a Gap style, choose their body type and digital mannequin appears wearing the garment Shoppers choose a Gap style they may want to purchase in DressingRoom by Gap. Next, they select one of five body types - extra small, small, medium, large and extra large.
The luxury goods sector is embracing cutting-edge technologies as fashion boutiques turn to virtual reality and artificial intelligence to woo shoppers. The opportunity to experience exotic new worlds through a headset is believed to have broad-based consumer appeal. French fashion giant Christian Dior has employed virtual-reality headsets to give buyers an immersive behind-the-scenes glimpse of its latest runway shows in Paris and Milan. Without jetting off to Europe, visitors can visit local boutiques and don a virtual-reality headset, known as Dior Eyes, to enjoy a front-row runway experience of the maison's ready-to-wear haute couture collections. Fashion labels Balenciaga and Tommy Hilfiger are also embracing the technology.