Credit by James Vincent
Amazon is a behemoth of online retailing, but there’s one sector it has yet to crack: fashion. To help dig into this lucrative market, the company is introducing a new AI-powered tool named StyleSnap which will help customers find clothes to buy.
StyleSnap is basically Shazam for clothes, built into the Amazon mobile app. Users can take a picture or upload an image and StyleSnap will use machine learning to “match the look in the photo” and find similar items for sale on Amazon.com.
Amazon’s consumer worldwide CEO Jeff Wilke unveiled the feature at the company’s Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas today, saying: “The simplicity of the customer experience belies the complexity of the technology behind it.”
But lots of startups offer similar services, including online fashion giant Asos. And it remains to be seen if StyleSnap can live up to Amazon’s claims. It might be easy for AI to identify basic items of clothing, like pencil skirts or flannel shirts, but that doesn’t really help consumers who can usually identify these items themselves. Whether or not the feature can match niche items and styles will be the real challenge.