Eye on AI - October 11th, 2019
Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!
This week, we’ll be looking at two articles that discuss potential breakthroughs in voice and vision AI, including the rise of the smart mirror and content distribution expansion through voice search, which have dramatic effects on retail marketing.
Smart Mirrors Making Retail Inroads
We begin with an article out of Forbes on the continued progress of the smart mirror in retail. Contributor Bernard Marr, among my favorite follows on the Internet of Things, discusses in his article “The Magic Of Smart Mirrors: Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality And The Internet of Things” how smart mirror technology has become a crowded market.
“Several companies have made significant progress in creating smart mirrors, also called digital mirrors or smart displays, that can help you in the dressing room as well as when you’re in the hair stylist’s seat or shopping for makeup,” writes Marr. “....These mirrors can adjust your image, including the clothes you wear to your hairstyle, hair color, and makeup to create a very realistic augmented reflection.”
The beauty of this technology, as Marr notes, is that it allows users to preview different combinations of retail products and styles, including clothes, makeup, accessories and haircuts. Smart mirror can predict, with a high degree of accuracy, what users would look like with new style combinations, then project those predictions in smart mirrors back to users.
This technology comes in different ‘shades’, so to speak. What kind of technology is used is largely dependent on the type of product the company behind the technology supports. Some exclusively support makeup product. Some hair styles. Others, like Memory Mirror by MemoMi or Oak Mirror by Oak Labs, on clothing combinations.
“Memory Mirror, a digital mirror created by MemoMi, combines a full-length mirror with high-tech including a 70-inch LCD, computer and HD camera that can record videos so you can save, share and review your try-on sessions,” writes Marr. “... Another mirror altering the retail experience is the Oak Mirror by Oak Labs. It serves as a digital assistant in a dressing room, allowing customers to request other colors, styles, or accessories from a sales assistant.”
If a smart mirror producer were ever to make a successful leap from the store to the home, that could spark a retail revolution – and give the producer a monopoly on style retail. For now, let’s hope this technology leads to more appealing fashion trends.
Voice Search Content Breakthrough in Tourism
Next up, it’s news out of MediaPost on how Travel Oregon is leading the tourism charge into AI voice content distribution.
“Travel Oregon (TO) is claiming to be the first tourism agency in the country to experiment with distributing content through voice search with its new ‘Hey Alexa! Play the Oregon Wine Quiz!’,” writes author Larissa Faw in her article, ’Travel Oregon Experiments With Voice Search To Drive Wine Industry Awareness.’ “Designed with Sparkloft Media, the interactive wine quiz first asks users about general and more connoisseur-focused questions involving Oregon winemaking before "unlocking" one of four podcasts. This content ranges from interviews to storytelling from some of Oregon's more prominent wine industry professionals.”
It took Travel Oregon over six months to test and approve all the necessary content, which is largely due to Amazon’s requirement that all apps be approved before going live. The process should simplify in time. With Amazon and others recently announcing their push for voice activated devices outside the home, now may be the best time to get into voice content. The concept is still relatively novel. It won’t be for long.
"It seems as if their [voice activated technology companies] goal is to have voice devices everywhere,” says Linea Gagliano, director of communications at Travel Oregon. "We will no longer search on our phones —we'll just ask Alexa.”
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