Japan-based Colorful Board Inc. today launched its personal fashion stylist app Sensy on iPhone to help with ‘matching people and items’. The app boasts having over 1,600 Japanese fashion brands on board at the time of launch, as well as a handful of celebrity endorsements.
Keio University and Chiba University, both top-level universities in the country, have been involved in Sensy’s development as joint-research partners. Together they say they have developed ‘algorithms which learn (a user’s) fashion sense by artificial intelligence’.
“I got the seed of this idea when I was working in a global apparel maker’s project as a strategy consultant. The apparel industry has an issue of inefficiency in the process of production and marketing. Because I had learned machine-learning algorithms at Keio University, I thought that technology may be able to solve the issue,” Yuki Watanabe, CEO, Colorful Board Inc., told e27.
In a nutshell, the app involves choosing to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ items from the main screen, so that the recommendation algorithm can do what it is built to do — recommend you things. Watanabe estimates that after 50-100 likes or dislikes, Sensy starts becoming effective in sensing your style.
“We aim to make a personal concierge robot — artificial intelligence — who can recommend all (sorts) of things (in the) user’s life,” she said, adding that Sensy may also help companies gain a deeper understanding of the market. The startup says it has so far raised some angel funding from investors in Japan.
Once an item is selected, users can view more detailed information, or opt to see similar pieces. Meanwhile, a ‘favourite’ feature lets users store collections within the app. If you want to buy an item then and there, the ‘buy’ button will take you to the product purchase page.
One interesting feature that will be free at launch, but is tipped to go premium, is to borrow a celebrity’s ‘sense function’ from their official account. This is likely a way to help users dress like a real fashion model or stylist does.
Watanabe said Sensy is mainly targeting users in Asia, but also looking to Western markets for more partners and brands to bring on board.