With recent technological advances, there is one important question that lingers in every fashionista’s mind: when will we be able to use a computer to pick out our outfits like Cher did in Clueless? Thanks to engineer Henry Kang and his wife Shawna, the answer is, like, right now, with their StyleIt app. Kang and his wife were watching the ’90s classic one night when an idea sparked. Recalling all of the times his wife had asked him for advice about her outfit, he turned to her and said, “You know, we can probably get the computer to do that.” At the time, Kang was finishing his PHD in Robotics and Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and he brought the idea to his PHD advisor, who immediately wrote a check to establish the company. Now, almost two years later, the StyleIt app has a growing base, as well as in-app shopping, which makes it quite unique from all the other apps out there.
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There are two ways to get party-ready with StyleIt; take a picture with your camera phone of an item that you already own, or one that you see at a store, and in three seconds, StyleIt will create 10 outfits for you based around that product. The suggested accessories and apparel is culled from the 450-plus stores that have partnered with the company. “Our system examined thousands of fashion blogs and put together a model based on how fashion bloggers put their outfits together,” Kang tells Yahoo Style. “We developed mathematical models that take color, texture, and shape into consideration when it predicts what items will look good together.”
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Courtesy of StyleIt
Apart from uploading your own images, you can also browse and create outfits from the stores that have partnered with the app, like Totokaelo and Bloomingdale's. The real fun starts once you start further customizing the StyleIt’s suggested outfits. Every edit helps to shape the technology so that StyleIt soon learns to understand the user’s likes and dislikes. “Style is very personal, and the program needs to reflect that,” Kang says. It’s artificial intelligence at work!
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StyleIt is available as a free download on iTunes, and Kang said they wanted to make the program an app, because our phones are pretty much the first thing we look at when we wake up in the morning. Since launching this spring, they have styled over 1.5 million outfits. “In the future we want to be able to incorporate current trends and we want the machine to automatically tailor each trend to the user,” he says. “We want this to become a must-tool for every woman who loves fashion.”