Want to shop looks from Instagram fashion gallery? Amazon’s new StyleSense uses AI to let you do that

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New Delhi | Published: June 6, 2019 1:49:12 PM

Amazon is rolling out StyleSense in the US but it is expected to arrive in other markets, including India

Amazon has been trying to get on par with the online fashion business for many years. It has, in the past, introduced standalone gadgets to drive its customers to try its technology for buying clothes online. Jeff Bezos-led e-commerce giant is now leaping forward to employ AI to launch a new product called StyleSense. It’s an added layer in the camera tool inside the Amazon app that lets users click photo of a look. That look will be analysed using AI to find similar items to create the same look.

StyleSense, Amazon says, used deep learning and computer vision to find the clothes, accessories as seen in the photo. These items or the accessories can also be purchased on Amazon. Identifying clothes from a photo is a difficult process, especially when it involves multiple layers of clothes a person is wearing in a typical setting where the background is not as much distinct. But Amazon says it is using residual networks to ‘overcome this problem’. It lets the training signals ‘skip over some of the signals’ and helps the network learn basic things such as ‘patterns’ and ‘edges’ in a look before going into identifying complex elements.

Amazon began trialling the StyleSense in April but a broader rollout will follow. The announcement was made at the re: MARS conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Jeff Wilke, Consumer Worldwide CEO at Amazon, said, “The simplicity of the customer experience belies the complexity of the technology behind it.”

For now, Amazon is rolling out StyleSense in the US but it is expected to arrive in other markets, including India. India is one of the most important markets for Amazon, which it earmarked for expansion with a $5 billion investment. Amazon has a strong foothold in India but it has a neck and neck competition from Flipkart, which was recently acquired by Amazon’s biggest US rival, Walmart.

Both Amazon rivals in two most important countries joined forces to fend it off. Myntra, which is owned by Flipkart, is one of the leading platforms for online fashion shopping. It already offers a similar feature where a user can click a photo of an item or a look to find matching products from its catalogue. Myntra even lets the buyer try the clothes after the delivery for a nominal charge, which has turned out to see a wide reception. Amazon will have to top these features if wants to get ahead in the race in the online fashion market.

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