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Try On: Google’s New AI Tool for Enhanced Online Shopping Experience

The advent of online retail has completely transformed the way we shop, offering the convenience of shopping from home and saving valuable time, particularly during the pandemic. However, purchasing clothing online, despite its numerous benefits, has often come with its fair share of frustrations.

According to a recent online survey conducted by Google, a significant portion of online shoppers, approximately forty-two percent, expressed a sense of disconnect with the models showcasing the clothing, feeling that they were not adequately represented. Furthermore, a staggering fifty-nine percent reported dissatisfaction with their online clothing purchases, as the items appeared different in reality compared to how they appeared online.

In an effort to address these concerns and enhance the virtual shopping experience, Google has introduced a groundbreaking generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool called “Try On.” The announcement of this tool was made on Wednesday, and it has already been made available to select shoppers in the United States.

The “Try On” tool empowers shoppers to select models that resonate with them on a personal level, offering a greater sense of representation and relatability. This can be achieved by simply utilizing the “Try On” badge displayed alongside Google Search results.

Google has emphasized that the implementation of this innovative tool aims to deliver a more personalized and meaningful shopping experience for users. In addition to model selection, the tool provides advanced features, such as refined options and filters, enabling shoppers to curate their search results and create a truly relatable shopping journey.

With the introduction of the “Try On” tool, Google seeks to bridge the gap between online shoppers and the fashion items they desire, ensuring a more accurate representation and aligning the virtual experience with the reality of the products. This development is poised to alleviate the frustrations associated with online clothing shopping and empower consumers to make informed and satisfying purchase decisions from the comfort of their own homes.

Diversifying online retail

Google’s AI-powered 'Try On' tool to make online shopping more relatable
Select “Try On” option on Google’s search bar to experience the new AI feature 

Lilian Rincon, senior director of product in Google’s shopping sector, says that Google selected diverse models ranging from sizes XXS to 4XL representing different skin tones (using the Monk Skin Tone Scale as a guide), body shapes, ethnicities and hair types.

“Our new generative AI model can take just one clothing image and accurately reflect how it would drape, fold, cling, stretch, and form wrinkles and shadows on a diverse set of real models in various poses”, she said.

As of yesterday, US shoppers can virtually try on products using the AI models from a broad collection of fashion labels including AnthropologieEverlaneH&M and LOFT

The company is working in collaboration with Shopping Graph, a comprehensive data set of products and sellers.

The technology can scale to more brands and items over time, the product director says.  

Currently, the AI feature exclusively allows shoppers to preview women’s tops within product listings from an assortment of brands.

However, Google is set to launch a variety of options later this year, including men’s tops. 

AI dominance

Additionally, the new refine options allow users to custom pick colors, styles, and patterns made possible by harnessing machine learning and the company’s new visual matching algorithm.

“Unlike shopping in a store, you’re not limited to one retailer. You’ll see options from stores across the web,” Rincon said.

According to CNN, Google’s move to incorporate AI comes in response to the wave of new AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT.

“At the Google I/O developer conference last month, the company spent more than 90 minutes teasing a long list of AI announcements, including expanding access to its existing chatbot Bard and bringing new AI capabilities to Google Search,” reports CNN.

With AI growing rapidly, other companies such as Shopify, Instacart, eBay, and even Amazon have entered the sphere. CNN says that Amazon is experimenting with AI, to sum up customer feedback about products on the site.

As per this amusing summary of the Google I/O keynote from The Verge, AI did feature rather prominently at the event.