Amazon brings the selfie to a new AI level

Oh yes, it looks like our selfies are about to get to much better in the near future. Amazon is now adding a voice controlled, standalone selfie camera to its AI assistant Alexa. Echo Look has a lot of the same features as the last one, but with four LED lights, a depth-sensing system that blurs the background, and the possibility to take videos to get the best view of your outfit from every angle. With the function ”Style check” it uses machine learning to compare outfits and give style tips. The more you use it, the smarter it gets. The camera is not yet available to the public, but when it does it will sell for about 200 dollars, according to Fashion and Mash. Wanna see for yourself how it works? Take a look at this promo video.

The challenges of fashion going digital

So looking forward to today’s network meeting about the digitalization of fashion, arranged by Swedish Fashion Council and Stockholm University among others. How to match the ever moving and competitive fashion industry with the long-sightedness and perseverance that the digitalization requires? Well, that sure is a great challenge, especially when it comes to creating new business models. There’s also a great need for innovation and new ways of thinking not only when it comes to business models, but the whole way the fashion industry is organized in everything from creation and production to cross-industry cooperations. Among the speakers today are Michael Andersson och Julia Krantz from Volumental, Rickard Lindqvist from Atacac and Jonas Larsson from The Swedish School of Textiles in Borås.

Photo cred: Ivyrevel’ s Data Dress, a great example of the change fashion currently is going through.

 

Luxury first and tech second at fashion hack in Paris

A self heating jacket enabled with metallic threads coated in solar cells, a cotton shirt that repels oil, wine and coffee thanks to nano-encapsulated technology and a headband designed to induce lucid dreams. Those are just a few of the objects at ”Fashion Hack”, an exhibition that opened yesterday, at concept store Colette in Paris. For one week the 10 prototypes embedded with various types of new technologies, and created by fashion designers, will be on display in the store. Much like the ”Fashion Hackathon” held in Stockholm last spring, the aim is to merge tech and fashion in a meaningful way. But perhaps with more focus on luxury and couture.
The curator of the event is Carole Sabas, a correspondent for French Vogue and author of The Fashion Guides series.
– In opposition to the ‘wearables’ category, these fashion accessories are first and foremost luxury goods, crafted as couture objects. Their invisible perks are limited to a few features: a surprising comfort (re-engineered soles) or stunning experience (self-heating sheer fabric, enhanced listening…) No biometrics will be measured, no apps will be downloaded. Seamlessly merged with fashion, the tech factor is an inconspicuous bonus. A secret layer of convenience, second to fashion, she says to Fashion and Mash.
Like me, Sabas is frustrated about the lack of innovation in the fashion tech field at for instance this years CES.
– I couldn’t believe that I was seeing the same umbrellas that buzz you if it’s going to rain, rings that blink when you receive texts and belt that text you if you’re on the verge of eating too much, she said.
– The idea is to suggest to tech start-ups to collaborate with fashion designers if their intention is to target luxury stores alongside electronic retailing. It also invites fashion houses to reach out to tech people, in order to get ready for things like the wireless charging bags, smart eyeglasses, high heels 2:0, connected jackets and jewellery and other ‘hearables’ coming their way in a couple of seasons.

Photo cred: The Dream Band by Erik Halley and Luciding for Fashion Hack at Collete

Toronto event on future retail: when will Sweden follow?

I know, I tend to go on quite a lot about the future of retail these days, but hey, a lot is happening in that area right now. And too little here in Sweden I might add. On May 2nd, the city of Toronto and number of fashion oriented organizations and businesses, are holding a joint event in Toronto about the future of retail. And they are right to do it, because the boundaries between our digital and physical lives are blurring and that goes for retail as well with stores becoming more digitally friendly, for instance in how Augmented Reality is moving into dressing rooms. The Toronto event is just the kind of thing I would like to see happening in Sweden right now. But the problem is I just can’t hear anyone even talking about this right now. Why is that? I think it’s about time to start this conversation.

Photo: Rebecca Minkoff smart dressing room.

 

Stil & Teknik in Fashion Tech talk tonight

Springtime in Stockholm and I’m really looking forward to tonight’s panel discussion at Stockholm PR Agency Text100! There I will be joining a host of other fashion tech people to talk about what is happening in this field at the moment and what might be in store for the future. Stay tuned!

Digital natives, sure. But Gen Z still prefers in store-shopping

It’s easy to believe that people who were born into the digital era would naturally prefer to do everything, including their shopping, online in a digital space. But in fact, a lot of the Gen Z:ers (16-21) actually seem to prefer to shop for clothing the old fashioned way. At least according to a recent report from American analytics firm Euclid Analytics, says Fashion and Mash.
The study showed that while they tend to do their research digitally before purchase, and share their experiences and shopping choices through Snapchat and Instagram during and after, they actually prefer to touch, hold and try on the clothes in a brick and mortar store pre-purchase.
They also expect stores to offer a personalized experience based on their shopping habits and preferences. Luckily retail is picking up on this, which is noticeable in the way more and more stores become more digitalized, offering smarter dressing room and payment options and in store VR and AR experiences, thereby closing the gap between the online shopping experience and the in store experience. I think we’ll see a lot more of this in the next couple of years.

Photo credit: Fashion and Mash,