Google Is Turning Image Search Into A Personal Stylist
The company recently rolled out its "Style Ideas" feature, which uses the image search UI to give people suggestions of clothing to look through
It’s hard to deny that Google has its fingers in a lot of pots— from virtual and augmented reality technologies to advanced image searching, the company’s innovations are prolific, hugely successful and ubiquitous. However, one vertical the tech giant hasn’t been too involved in is the fashion industry, until now.
Google’s new Style Ideas feature for its Google Android app and mobile web application provides style inspirations and outfit ideation based on items that users are searching for. An Image Search grid shows a variety of inspirational fashion images, giving users ideas on how to create cool outfits. The feature will also cull suggested pieces that are intended to complement users’ desired outfits.
Julia Enthoven, associate product manager at Google, writes in the company’s announcement of the feature, “With style ideas, you can see real-life options of what bag and jeans look stellar with those red high heels you’ve been eyeing. Or if running gear is more your speed, no sweat—workout ensemble ideas are just a tap away.”
However, will fashion gurus find Google’s vast net of image sources useful? After all, social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest not only incubate outfit inspirations, but they do so organically within the ecosystem of fashion culture and its tangent relation to the larger art world. Because the algorithm relies on choosing popular images, the selections might not always be helpful or particular forward-thinking. However, Google’s Style Ideas may pave the way for a new generation of computer-led ideation, acting as a supplement to the multitude of fashion resources that exist today.
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Jennifer Lopez is the technology development lead at CASIS, the Center for Advancement of Science in Space, the organization that manages the International Space Station's U.S. Laboratory to facilitate space-based research. Jennifer is also the Founder and CEO of Wisenn & Company, a leading international consulting firm advising clients on social impact, open innovation and philanthropy.
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