(Yahoo News) Google [ on November 17th) unveiled Boutiques.com, a Web site that combines computing power with fashion savvy in an effort to keep users informed about trends and provide shopping recommendations.
“Boutiques uses computer vision and machine learning technology to visually analyze your taste and match it to items you would like,” Munjal Shah, Google product management director, wrote in a blog post.
The team behind Boutiques.com came from Like.com, an online retailer that Google acquired in August. Prior to the Google purchase, employees were pondering how to create a better experience for people to shop online, Shah said.
“Our team consists of PhDs in computer science with an emphasis on machine learning and computer vision, along with fashion designers and stylists—we jokingly called ourselves the computer nerds and fashion nerds (and a few of us were both),” he wrote. “So, we set out to create a new way to browse, discover and shop for soft goods online.”
That new way is Boutiques.com, which lets you create your own customized boutiques, or follow the boutiques created by celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers. The site currently has boutiques from more than 30 people, including actress Carey Mulligan (above), singer Eve, and stylist Nicole Chavez. Keep tabs on their fashion exploits or tell Boutiques.com about your own style to receive personalized updates.
“We asked [the celebrities] not just to curate 10-50 great items they loved, but also to teach our site their style and taste,” Shah wrote. “They did this by telling us what colors, patterns, brands and silhouettes they loved and they hated.”
“Our machine learning algorithms use this information to enable you to shop all of the inventory in the style of that taste-maker, on top of the 50 items they’ve hand curated,” he added.
Given that this is Google, there are search options. Filter by genre, silhouette, pattern, color families, and sizes (click above for larger image). Search for something like “yellow pumps,” meanwhile, and Boutiques will produce matching outfit ideas. A visual search will also analyze a photograph and produce visually similar items.
Boutiques.com is currently only available in the U.S. for women’s fashion, but Google expects to expand that soon. It is also available as an iPad application.