Google’s AI-powered 'Try On' tool to make online shopping more relatable

Google is making it easier for shoppers to “Try On” tops virtually ​​on diverse models through its new generative AI technology
Shubhangi Dua
Shoppers in the US can now experience Google's new AI-powered tool to try on clothes through virtual models
Shoppers in the US can now experience Google's new AI-powered tool to try on clothes through virtual models

Gorodenkoff / iStock 

Online retail has revolutionized the shopping experience, allowing people to shop from home and save time, especially since the pandemic. However, buying clothing online from the comfort of your own home, can bring its own frustrations.

According to Google, a online survey found that forty-two percent of online shoppers didn't feel represented by the people modeling clothing, and fifty-nine percent felt dissatisfied with an item they had bought online, as it looked different to them in reality.

Now, the search giant is taking virtual shopping to the next level with a new generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool called 'Try On', announced on Wednesday.

The tool, launched to some shoppers in the US, allows shoppers to choose models that resonate with them most by using the “Try On” badge on Google Search results.

The company says that the tool will allow for a more personalized and meaningful experience for users. The tool also offers advanced features where shoppers can refine options and use filters to create a more relatable shopping experience. 

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 Anthropologie, Everlane, H&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.

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