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AI-enabled Guess store helps you create an ensemble

Alibaba's technology could take the indecision out of clothes shopping.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 4, 2018
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You can try Amazon's Echo Look if you want AI to offer fashion advice at home. But what if you're at the store, and would rather not hem and haw while you decide if that top goes with those jeans? Guess and Alibaba think they can help. They've worked together on an AI system, FashionAI, that uses computer vision to help you create an entire outfit while you're shopping. A smart mirror can recognize the color, style and traits of what you're holding (such as the neckline) and suggest other items that would be a good complement, including clothes you've already bought online. Can't style your way out of a wet paper bag? You might only have to pick one piece that strikes your fancy to create a full ensemble.

There's more tech behind the scenes, too. Each item in the store carries Bluetooth, RFID and motion sensors to automatically display them on the smart mirror. And if you want to try something on, you just have to pick it on the mirror -- staff know to collect whatever you're interested in and bring it to you. If you've ever hated carrying a mountain of clothing into the changing room, this might be your dream.

Unfortunately, you'll probably have to plan a short-notice trip to try this for yourself in the near future. Guess and Alibaba are showcasing FashionAI in a concept store on Hong Kong Polytechnic University's campus between now and July 7th. The demo also ties heavily into Alibaba's own shopping services (such as Taobao and Tmall), so it'd need significant reworking for many other countries. With that in mind, it's a good sneak peek at how AI could reduce your clothes shopping time from hours to minutes -- at least, if you're not too exacting.

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