Amazon has been steadily taking a position in the fashion industry with an ever-growing merchandising mix of fashion, not to mention its own private-label brands, Lark & Ro, Society New York, James & Erin, North Eleven, Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored and Scout + Ro.
The company also allows brands to open e-boutiques on its site. The brands provide the clothing, photos, copy and size information and Amazon provides Web hosting and shipping.
The e-tail pioneer recently applied for a patent for machine-made apparel produced on-demand. (Automated apparel production is a hot topic. We recently profiled several companies and entrepreneurs working on similar projects.)
The company’s latest fashion product is the Echo Look , which takes the mega retailer right into the closets of its customer.
The Echo Look is being billed as a “style assistant,” but essentially it’s a voice-activated camera that can shoot photos and videos. Take a look at the promotional video below and the Echo Look seems like a handy tool for any fashion blogger, what with its “built-in lighting and depth-sensing cameral [that] lets you blue the background to make sure you outfits pop.” You just ask Alexa—Amazon’s AI answer to Siri—to take a photo and it will automatically upload to your phone or desktop.
The Echo Look takes on an added dimension thanks to the “Style Check” feature, which lets you ask Alexa to weigh in with fashion advice. Select two photos and Alexa will give you a recommendation “based on current trends and what flatters you.” How does Alexa know what’s flattering or on trend, you ask? “It combines the best in machine learning with the advice of fashion specialists.”
But as Nicola Fumo at The Verge correctly points out, getting users to upload head-to-toe outfits is invaluable data for Amazon:
“What could be more useful than a vast bank of user-submitted photos to learn the tastes and existing wardrobes of its customers, and where there might be holes to fill?”