Remember those tiring and endless visits to the trial room for trying to find that perfect outfit from thousands of options, and that too in a crowded store on a sale day? We bet everyone has seen days like that. Additionally, till date, a personal stylist is a luxury that probably only the rich and famous can afford. But what if we tell you that days like these are numbered? Yes, you can now have your very own personal fashion stylist at your fingertips, wherever, whenever. The use of AI (artificial intelligence) in fashion tech will now allow each one of us to find those elusive perfect outfits that suits our body type and fashion preferences.
More often than not, innovations in fashion technology are seen from startups — from commonly perceived fashion destinations such as the US or the UK. Now, our very own Hyderabad-based Deep-Tech startup, FR Tech Innovations, is all set to revolutionise the way fashion is seen.
FR Tech is about to launch a head-turning product named ‘iLUK.’ (Pronounced as ‘I Look’) This technology, according to the Co-founder & CEO, Sandeep Chatterjee, will create a revolution in retail, similar to how ATMs revolutionised the banking industry.
As per company sources, iLUK is an AI-based personal stylist, which involves Computer Vision and 3D Reconstruction technology at its heart to make personal styling based on technology possible. It is designed as a pod that will be placed at a retail outlet. Customers can simply walk into the store that features an iLUK pod. Before entering the pod customers can select some pictures (displayed on a tab) they relate to fashion wise, fill in a small questionnaire which requires them to specify their fashion preferences. The system will understand the customers fashion sensibility which can be placed anywhere on a slider scale between conservative and flamboyant. They would then be helped by a store assistant to get into the iLUK pod where a virtual personal stylist (male or female, as per the customers preference) would greet them on the screen inside and take them through the body scanning process.
What is the iLUK pod?
Well, if you remember some sci-fi movies or serials, such as Star Trek, where the cosmonauts would enter a small chamber and they would be transported elsewhere, well you could relate a similar chamber here too, minus the teleportation bit. The pod is a simple dressing room-type cubicle where the person can enter and stand comfortably and a screen in front of them acts similar to a mirror. There are a few cameras placed around the person at a fixed interval and position. Once the user is ready for the scanning (after all the requirements are in place), all the cameras simultaneously release their shutters in a split second, and snap a 360-degree photo if the user from every angle. Computer vision and 3D reconstruction is used to develop a 3D avatar of the customer. The measurement data are then fed into the AI software to analyse the body-shape of the user, with identical body mass, shape, size and colour, with the user’s face on it. This 3D avatar has the exact dimensions for the user.
Now that a 3D avatar of the customer is created, based on the customers’ fashion sensibilities and body type. The system captures 35 different measurements of the customers within milliseconds. The AI algorithm understands the body shape from various measurements and identifies the strengths within the customers’ body type that need to be highlighted. From this analysis, the best suitable outfits from thousands of the store’s inventory, which would otherwise be impossible to try on, are suggested to the customer. The customers can then access their avatar remotely from a mobile, tab, or PC, 24x7, and select various outfits from the store without the hassle of having to individually try out each one. The virtual assistant would act as a personal stylist to show various outfits on the customers’ avatar and help them pick the most suitable one — be it a business meeting or a Friday night dinner.
From the retail point of view, this technology would enable retailer players to engage more closely with their customers and help them in the process of becoming omni-channel retailers. FR Tech is in talks with major retail players for the adoption of this technology. Retailers too have shown interest and iLUK is set to roll out across retail outlets sometime this year. In future, FR Tech also sees the possibility of large format retailers having smaller and compact versions of their stores across more locations using this technology for encapsulating a wider customer base.
When such an innovation is introduced, it also brings to the mind many questions about security, which is a key concern with any new technology now-a-days, especially when privacy laws are strict and violations are rampant. Addressing this concern, our sources at FR Tech assure that there is no manual intervention in the process of generating the customer avatar. All the avatars created are stored in an encrypted and anonymous text format. The body scanning done by the AI technology used in iLUK, is non-invasive and the avatar once created, is accessible by customers with their unique ids and passwords, thus making it inaccessible, even if the ID happen to fall into wrong hands.
The scanning will be a nominal cost to the customer and the ID will be specific to the brand or store only. These customer IDs also allows the users to shop with brands and stores online in future and shop for their fashion garments without leaving the comfort of their homes. Additionally, the company is also looking into various options for pricings where the customers can have their body measurements taken again at specific durations to alter the shape and sizes, should they have a change in the measurements over time.
With the increase in higher disposable incomes of consumers in India, being well dressed in now not just a luxury, but has become a necessity in our lives. With AI getting into all spheres of our existence including fashion, having a personal stylist will no longer be a distant dream. Such technologies also pave the way for more research and innovations to come to the forefront from our own country....