21/06/2018 Barry Marelli

3D MAPPING AND AI: TECHNOLOGY AND FASHION

Online shopping is quick, easy and efficient. As the use of technology matures in the market, you are able to receive your purchases quicker than ever, and the ability to return an unwanted item is seamless. However, that experience is lacking when compared to directly walking in store, choosing your outfit and trying it on for the first time. It does ask the question, does the current online experience lead to more items being returned than traditional means? What can be done to help reduce the gap?

Putting the item on in person can make a world of difference in your purchasing decision. And that’s where online clothes shopping falls short. It can’t provide the visual and experiential assurance that conventional store shopping can and that’s why even in this current technology boom many people, especially when shopping for high end products, remain skeptical and tend to favour traditional shopping.

Bridging the gap between online and offline clothes shopping is underway, and the difference is getting smaller and smaller. With recent advancements in AI, reduction in technology costs, and an improvement in rollout of 3D mapping, virtual, and augmented reality, fashion designers and dress companies can now offer visual and experiential contentment to their customers when they order their products online.

3D mapping is a technology that can replicate any three dimensional object by bouncing infrared light off and beneath the surface, measuring perceptible depth. In the context of online shopping, this helps in recreating a life size digital avatar of a potential customer which then can be used to determine if a particular dress is a good fit and whether it looks right on that specific body type. This way a potential customer knows the dress goes well with their figure and if there’s any need for alteration without ever going to the store.

Eliminating doubt and scepticism from online shopping experience is a major breakthrough for eCommerce and it’s not surprising that according to a Goldman Sachs Virtual & Augmented Reality Report, visual experiences industry is going to grow beyond $100 billion by 2025. Apart from application of visualisation technologies in online dress shopping, it’s also being used by major fashion brands to give their walk-in customers interactive experience. Fashion mogul, Tommy Hilfiger now provides 360 degree virtual experience of seasonal fashion shows in their brick and mortar stores.

Aforementioned experiences are complemented by artificial intelligence that learns from your shopping habits and patterns using the data to make useful suggestions and recommendations. It’s also the force behind visual technologies that takes crucial data points, processes them and gives out precise results factoring in meta-information and other variables.

With recent developments in 3D mapping, artificial intelligence and visual technologies, the gap between retail outlet and online shopping is narrowing and soon there’ll be a time when a fashion brand or a clothing line not offering these features will be facing a serious competitive disadvantage.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximise the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercialises the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.

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