Happy Finish, the VR content specialists and global production studio, has announced the launch of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Shoegazer, currently a proof of concept (PoC) for the fashion-retail industry, uses image recognition and transfer learning technologies to identify brands and models of trainers in real-time – with 95% accuracy. To support the full launch of Shoegazer, Happy Finish is also embarking on a round of capital fundraising for £395,000.
Happy Finish’s Shoegazer is a unique PoC for the fashion and retail industry. The current prototype uses image recognition to identify certain features of trainers – including logo to shape and style. By using transfer learning technology, the app is able to match the picture a consumer takes of a trainer on their smartphone with pre-existing data sets, identifying the exact brand and style of the trainer in real-time. Using two comparative tests for benchmarking, one based on accuracy and the other on computational time, Shoegazer identifies trainers with 95% accuracy.
There is also opportunity to apply the transfer learning technology from Shoegazer to other areas within fashion and retail, including clothes, accessories and bags. The nature of the application also means that it is not solely limited to individual brands - there is also an opportunity for retailers to use the application to cross-sell other products within their portfolio. The prototype is already being presented to partner brands with a view to market launch in late 2016.
Commenting on the company’s new growth opportunities, Stuart Waplington, Global CEO of Happy Finish, said, “Retail is always one of the first markets to adopt new and emerging technologies. We have seen the retail industry successfully adopt VR and AR and we have even been heavily involved in the process - which means diversifying into AI is a natural next step for us. While we have hired a small team to work exclusively in this area, we're looking forward to vastly accelerating our rate of research and growing our team to serve as the global home base for Happy Finish’s machine learning efforts.”
Renowned for its work in virtual and augmented reality and boasting an impressive portfolio of commercial VR and AR experiences, Happy Finish will use its first-hand market experience to support its diversification into AI. According to Bank of America, the global market for AI is set to be worth $70 billion by 2020. Rapid adoption of AI is set to transform a range of markets, including advertising and media, finance and retail, offering benefits such as improved productivity and increased customer satisfaction.
Happy Finish is embarking on a round of crowdfunding to support to launch of its AI technology. The funds raised will be used to grow Happy Finish’s AI research team and help bring its PoC to market, as well as expand its current VR and AR offering into the thriving Asia Pacific market.
“Artificial intelligence is designed to mimic human functions like learning and problem solving. So when Google DeepMind beat champion AlphaGo player Lee Sedol earlier this year, it was seen as a major breakthrough - and the world woke up to the reality of artificial intelligence,” said Carl Davies, Global CMO at Happy Finish. “Our ShoegazerPoC provides great revenue opportunities for brands and retailers alike. Not only does it mean consumers can identify trainers that they may in fact go on to purchase, but brands and retailers can also make further recommendations – whether that is trainers of a similar style or other pieces of clothing to match. AI is set to transform a number of industries, and our Shoegazer is just one of many use cases of how this new technology can be applied and monetised.”