Category Archives: Up and Coming

Technology Trends that will Change our Retail Experience

A recent Forbes article predicts five key technology trends that will saturate the retail market by 2020. We’re moving in a direction that will make our shopping experiences more and more convenient and accessible. While physical stores are definitely here to stay for at least the foreseeable future, the way that we shop in stores is bound to change! The first prediction states that retail stores will embrace showrooming. Showrooming is when customers use retail stores as places to simply look at and try-on items before going online to make the actual purchase at a more competitive price.

Courtesy of Desk.com
Courtesy of Desk.com

So what’s the coolest part about this trend? Retailers will use beacons, a type of sensor that gives the retailer information about which items or sections of the store we were lingering around for a while, so that the retailer can suggest products for us to buy online that are tailored to our individual interests. This is just one example of the next trend: more analytics in stores.

Besides using the beacons, stores will have technology to track our buying habits and product preferences by analyzing our actions in store. The next technology trend goes far beyond measuring just our in-store movements. Sensory technology will soon help retailers detect our emotional responses to the products, signs, and advertisements that we see in store.

To make our life a bit easier, payments are expected to become completely transparent with mobile payment options and pre-pay options that will allow us to go in the store, pick up the items that we’ve already bought through our smartphone, and walk out with no checkout process. Just imagine how easy it would be to shop!

Last but not least, sources predict that the role of sales associates will shift because many of their tasks will become automated.   Store navigation, self-checkout, and product information will be made available to customers through technology devices, therefore freeing up sales associates to focus on building profitable relationships with customers.

While some of these technology trends may seem unbelievable at first, a lot can change in five years. With the increasing trend of mobile and online shopping, there’s no way that retail stores can afford to stay stagnant in their retail approach. I am all for making the shopping experience as convenient and seamless as possible! What’s your new favorite shopping technology trend?

By: Jaclyn Parker

Advertisements

OUT with the Mood Ring, IN with the Chameleon Scarf

Photo: Courtesy of thisnext.com
Photo: Courtesy of thisnext.com

Flashback to the 1980’s and 90’s, and you’ll remember the mass appeal of mood rings amongst kids. I remember watching my mood ring as it turned colors, waiting to see if it could accurately depict my mood. Now in the 21st Century we have graduated from mood rings to “Chameleon Scarves.”

Photo: Courtesy of Neffa, Featured on Refinery 29
Photo: Courtesy of Neffa, Featured on Refinery 29

The Amsterdam textile company, Neffa, has created a silk-chiffon scarf that changes pattern according to temperature, UV light, and the wearer’s mood. A recent Refinery 29 article explains how this scarf works. The colors and prints turn to a bright color when the user’s body temperature is normal like it would be when a person is content.   When a person gets stressed or angry, their body temperature often rises. When this happens, the heat-responsive thermochromic ink in the scarf detects it and makes the pattern disappear.

Ever feel like it’s hard to decipher your own emotions? There are more items besides this scarf that can help! Mood-clothing technology has been seen in items such as sweaters, nail polish, and evening wear. I wonder what’s next! Mood detecting shoes perhaps? What’s your opinion on this kind of technology? Would you wear the Chameleon Scarf?

Follow us on Instagram to stay updated on all the latest fashion, beauty, and shopping trends!

By: Jaclyn Parker

The New Social Media Modeling Trend

Social media and technology have the ability to seep into our everyday lives and activities, and slowly but surely change the way we think, act and even live. The fashion industry is no exception to this twenty-first century phenomenon. So what happens when haute couture runway meets Instagram and Twitter? Say hello to social media modeling!
Enter Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne: all sought after models and social media queens who are taking the fashion world by storm. As an MTV article notes, the ladies’ success in the fashion industry is due as much to their “built-in followings” as it is to their “looks.”  Their influence and reach covers far and wide, and can be a valuable asset for the brands they represent.

Courtesy of Kendall Jenner's Instagram.  Most liked picture on Instagram, featuring Kendall Jenner.
Courtesy of Kendall Jenner’s Instagram. Most liked picture on Instagram, featuring Kendall Jenner.

Gigi Hadid stated in an interview for Adweek’s article “Social Supermodels,” “I realized that social media was an important marketing tool when clients that I was working with started to bring up things I was posting.”

Courtesy of Kendall Jenner's Instagram. Kendal, Gigi and Karlie Kloss post a selfie before a show.
Courtesy of Kendall Jenner’s Instagram. Kendal, Gigi and Karlie Kloss post a selfie before a show.

Social media platforms not only propel current celebrity careers forward, but also act as the starting point for many upcoming newbies in the industry. Marc Jacobs recently used Instagram, for the second time, to scout models for one of his collections.
It seems like yesteryears  “It” Girl has transformed into today’s “Instagirl.” Social media is definitely a game changer in the fashion industry, and one that is not going away anytime soon!

By: Sarayu Krishna

New Instagram Algorithm to Give you Style Tips

At my Alma Mater, the University of Toronto, researchers have created an algorithm that will make suggestions to improve your photos after they analyze them. We all know that good content can be the deciding factor in how many likes, comments, or follows you get, so imagine having the key to knowing which images will succeed and which ones will not! A Harper’s Bazaar article points out a pivotal point from the Computer Vision Foundation report: we all want to look good in our own unique ways, whether it be casual, fancy, professional, or whatever. Imagine a tool that can help you determine how fashionable you look in an image or how you could increase the image’s appeal!

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.28.33 PM

 

So how was this algorithm developed? The researchers analyzed posted images from chictopia.com, a social photo sharing website that allows people to share images of their outfits. They evaluated the pictures based on elements such as the fashions shown, the comments, and the responses. The results showed that there are factors that can make a post more or less likely to have higher interest from the community.

The algorithm will help you improve your images by giving you feedback on the actual outfit, the location of your picture, as well as information about fit, lighting, angles, and other aesthetic factors.

Created with the StyleChat App
Created with the StyleChat App

What’s your feeling on this? Can the success of our subjective fashion posts be broken down into an algorithm? Would you alter your photos in accordance with the algorithm’s advice? Will this algorithm revolutionize how we use Instagram? We want to hear what you think! Share in the comments below.

Speaking of Instagram, don’t forget to follow us @stylechatmobile. We may not have the benefit of the algorithm yet, but you’ll still find some great fashion looks!

By: Jaclyn Parker

 

The Fashion Mini Bar: Makes Traveling in Style Easier

Do you ever stress about how you’ll keep your style chic when you’re traveling? Any fashionista knows that it can be hard to plan your outfits when you’re going away on a trip. How can you predict what you’ll be in the mood for wearing? What if you forget the perfect sweater to wear over that new dress you just bought? Well, it seems that French designer Pimkie has taken this into consideration and has created a solution: a fashion mini bar in hotel rooms. An article on bustle.com explains how this concept works.

Courtesy of psfk.com
Courtesy of psfk.com, Click to Original Post

A hotel would offer a selection of clothing and accessories in your hotel room. If you’re looking for different styles or other sizes, you can contact the concierge to choose some other options from the menu in your room. You choose which styles you want to borrow and are charged later. So if you suddenly change your mind about wearing any of the clothes that you brought, this fashion mini bar concept would give you a chance to change your look while you’re traveling.

Courtesy of psfk.com
Courtesy of psfk.com, Click to Original Post

Perhaps you could even pack lighter, therefore making it easier for you to travel comfortably. This concept combines shopping and traveling in a new and exciting way that can help keep you stylish while you travel!

Courtesy of Bustle.com
Courtesy of Bustle.com, Click to Original Post

While this idea hasn’t made its way into all the hotels yet, you can find it at Hotel Banks in Antwerp, Belgium, and can expect to see it soon in a variety of hotels throughout Europe, including ones in London and Paris.

What do you think of this concept? Would you take advantage of a fashion mini bar if you had one in your hotel room? Share in the comments below!

By: Jaclyn Parker

The Changing Landscape of how Women Buy Beauty Products

I remember the days of walking through a department store from counter to counter checking out all the different beauty products from various brands. The only way to figure out which products would look best for my skin tone was to either ask the brand representative, or try them on. In seeking out advice, I was limited to whoever I was shopping with and the brand representative.

Nowadays, it’s a whole other story. We don’t even have to set foot in a mall or a store, and we’re not left fending for ourselves with an online store. We now have a community of beauty bloggers, friends, and subscription services to guide our decisions. We’ve gone from traditional shopping to guided, “social shopping.”  Antonia Opiah wrote an article for the Huffington Post describing three new ways that women are finding their beauty products.

Courtesy of thefrisky.com
Courtesy of thefrisky.com

Firstly, women are letting their friends guide their shopping choices via user curated shopping methods that help make the beauty buying process more social. You can check out what products your friends or beauty experts love and recommend. With the existence of social media sites, reading reviews and learning about new products has become a much simpler task!

Courtesy of The Huffington Post, Click to Original Post
Courtesy of The Huffington Post, Click to Original Post

The next trend lets your beauty routine become an exciting mystery from month to month with the beauty subscription box. Why limit yourself to full-size products that you may buy once or twice a year when instead, you could test out small samples from month to month? Finding the perfect beauty products to suit your individual tastes and complexions can be a tricky task. With a beauty subscription box, women can try new items every month so that they can figure out exactly what they like and what they don’t!

Last but not least, we’ve seen a re-emergence of the “beauty swap.” Beauty bloggers/vloggers are actually swapping their makeup amongst each other so that everyone can find the products that suit them well and pass on the ones that don’t! This is just another way you can get social with shopping and reap the rewards of paying less and getting more!

To see all the latest shopping and beauty tips, follow us on Instagram: @stylechatmobile.

By: Jaclyn Parker

Wearable Tech Trends You’ll Want to See

We’ve all seen the emergence of wearable technology, such as Google Glass, smart watch, and more, but these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. CNBC lists some of the most intriguing wearable tech trends that will keep you wanting to see more. While some are more frivolous than others, there are some that may turn out to be extremely convenient.

Image Source: Wearable Solar, Featured on CNBC
Image Source: Wearable Solar, Featured on CNBC

Imagine for instance, that you could charge your smart phone with your clothing. Designers are working towards using flexible solar panels in clothing to charge your devices. We’ve already seen the invention of handbags that can charge certain devices. This trend is definitely one that could make life a lot easier if successful.

Image source: Electrolux Design Lab
Image source: Electrolux Design Lab, Featured on CNBC

Next up we have an air filter device that is worn around the wrist and purifies the air around you. Just imagine the air smelling fresh and clean everywhere you go. The smart watch may not be the only device you want to wear around your wrist!

Image Source: Rainbow Winters, Featured on CNBC
Image Source: Rainbow Winters, Featured on CNBC

Designer, Amy Winters, has experimented with clothing that changes in your environment. For example, she uses holographic leather that illuminates when the volume increases. She has also created a bathing suit that reacts to light. Our streets would be a lot more colorful and festive if everyone was wearing this exciting new wearable technology!

Image source: Adafruit Industries, Featured on CNBC
Image source: Adafruit Industries, Featured on CNBC

The next wearable trend to keep your eye on would be particularly helpful for bicycle enthusiasts. A DIY electronics company called Adafruit, has created a helmet that has a built-in navigational system. The helmet has lights that flash on the right or left to let the biker know which direction to turn so that you don’t have to be looking at your smart phone to know where to go. We all know biking while using a smart phone could be hazardous; this invention would help bikers keep their smart phones out of their hands while biking.

Image Source: Ying Gao, Featured on CNBC
Image Source: Ying Gao, Featured on CNBC

Last but not least, fashion designer Ying Gao, has incorporated eye-tracking technology into her designs. She has created dresses that move when eyes are looking at them. This would surely make discrete staring, a much harder task! Would you want to know when all eyes are on you? What’s your favorite emerging wearable technology? We’d love you to share in the comments below!

By: Jaclyn Parker