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Why This AI Startup Wants to Create E-Commerce Models, Virtually

In today’s uncertain retail climate, companies like are creating innovative services to help apparel merchants stay competitive. recently announced the commercial launch of its artificial intelligence (AI) product, which analyzes pictures of garments and automatically generates a virtual human figure within the apparel item that lets retailers offer their customers a way to find a better fit.

And the AI startup doesn’t use any type of 3-D body mapping scanners or expensive hardware, like some other companies in the industry. Its GAN (generative adversarial network—a kind of AI algorithm) approach generates a model within an image of a garment, while predicting how the garment would fit, using algorithms developed by the company’s neuroscientists and image recognition experts. This not only saves money on photography and product digitization, but also save time, which helps the retailers go to market much faster.

“’s vision has always been to enable Intelligent Retail Automation, by putting the human experience at the center,” Ashwini Asokan,’s CEO, said, while speaking at Shoptalk in Las Vegas this week. “Merchandisers and teams responsible for product digitization in the retail industry go through a lot of trouble to process products, digitize them, shoot photos and plan the visual merchandising, all with the hope of bringing about a good customer experience…The AI we’ve built is to make their lives easier with the single goal of going to market faster, while keeping the integrity of a fantastic customer experience. AI is here to stay, and the work we’re doing with marquee brands across the globe is a sign of their growing trust.”

While at the conference, also announced its partnership with the Singapore-based, Sequoia-funded marketplace Zilingo, which was launched a few years ago to help independent fashion boutiques in Southeast Asia expand through e-commerce. The company is teaming up with Zilingo on its operations and retail processes.

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“We have thousands of sellers each putting up 5,000-10,000 products per month and we serve customers in more than 10 countries,” Ankiti Bose, Zilingo’s CEO, said. “[Partnering with] makes our process not only faster but also more accurate and simpler with [fewer] errors, also improving the customer experience across all our channels.”

Recently, apparel companies have been investigating ways to improve the  experience of shopping online. San Francisco-based apparel tech startup Avametric, which partnered with Gerber Technology last year, is banking on 3-D not only to optimize the garment design process but also to help online shoppers visualize how garments would appear on them in different sizes.