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Wear Your Lifestyle with Google's Awareness API

By Alicia Young
February 08, 2017

You know what they say, a lot of stereotypes stem from fact. While I don’t know if that’s necessarily true, there are a few instances where I believe it. For example, popular opinion is that women love to spend hours shopping. While this may not be true for everyone, the fact remains that clothes shopping as a woman often takes hours, because it’s so difficult to find decent clothes. Sizes vary from store to store, meaning that you usually have to try everything on, and most clothes honestly just aren’t very practical. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone through a store and thought to myself, “Oh, that’s cute, but I wouldn’t wear it,” or “Can someone please explain to me why this long sleeve shirt is paper-thin? It’s February.” Fashion is great, but oftentimes it doesn’t make sense, and it’s certainly not adaptable to everyone’s lifestyles.

Well, what if I told you that there’s a new API looking to change all that? At the Google I/O developer conference last year, Google introduced a new Awareness API that allows smart applications to understand where you are, what you’re doing and what’s nearby. It can even determine the weather and then intelligently react to your situation. This sort of intelligent API can lead to some groundbreaking innovations in the coming years, but right now Google is taking it on a rather surprising test run.

The tech giant has teamed up with H&M’s digital fashion house Ivyrevel to use this data to design people customized dresses. The project, aptly named “Coded Couture,” uses a forthcoming Android app to track users’ activity and lifestyle. The Awareness API collects data from the users’ day to day lives, and then compiles it to create a unique, personalized, custom-made dress that can then be ordered through the app.

How it works is relatively simple. For example, if I know that I’m going to a fancy Valentine’s Day party, I can go into the app and select “Party,” then the app’s Snapshot API will monitor my daily activities and lifestyle for a week. This includes information like where I travel, where I eat dinner or hang out with friends, the weather in my area, and more. After a week, all of the collected data is put together, and the app creates a digitally tailored dress that can be bought from the app.

The purpose of this app is to solve all those problems I mentioned earlier. Shopping as a woman is normally difficult, but it becomes even more frustrating when you’re looking for the perfect outfit for an event. The “Data Dress” from Google and H&M should take care of that problem completely. According to Google, the choice of material, color, embellishment used, and added details such as belts and cuffs are completely data driven. For instance, material would be chosen based on the weather, and fit would depend on the user’s weekly activity level. So, whether you need an outfit for work, parties, or formal events, this app should be able to design the perfect dress for your lifestyle.

While I’m sure there are better uses out there for Google’s Awareness API, this is an interesting and, quite frankly, entertaining start. I for one would certainly be interested in giving this a try once it’s generally available. Let’s see if it can make the shopping experience enjoyable again.

This week at All About the API, collocated with ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., industry experts will address topics including APIs and CRM/Partner Management as well as innovation, how to turbo charge your API and so much more!

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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