Google’s New AI Tool Is About to Make Online Shopping Even Easier

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google new shopping tool gear.jpg
google new shopping tool gear.jpg

It matched photos of of the models wearing shirts in two different poses and generated images of that shirt from other angles. Then it took images of the clothing from the merchant and fused them with images of Google’s model via generative diffusion models to produce multiple, diverse images of the clothing. The result? A wide array of remarkably real-looking images of the clothes you want to buy. 

Now, when searching for shirts—maybe you’re in need of a new going-out top?—you’ll see a “Try On” badge next to applicable clothing items. Clicking that opens up a list of models to scroll through. All 40 female models are included for every shirt, so you’ll see multiple models for each size. That’s especially helpful, since two people can wear the same size but be shaped differently, causing clothes to look very different on each of them. 

Obstacle Course

Courtesy of Google

Within this new shopping experience, you can see guided refinements. If you’re looking at a shirt on the model you’ve selected, but you want a version that’s more affordable, or like the shape but want it in a different color or pattern, you can select a few options from dropdown menus and Google will output similar options. 

Of course, you probably shop for clothes directly on the brand’s website, and this feature will work only within Google Shopping. If you find an item you like, you’ll have to do a Google search for it to see if it’s available. 

And there are a few kinks to be worked out. If you search for a shirt, it includes images for all sizes, from XXS to 3XL, even if that brand doesn’t offer all those sizes. Unavailable sizes are grayed out. Also, women’s sizes are a crapshoot. While men’s sizing tends to be fairly universal across brands, women’s clothes sizes can vary across brands and even across individual items

All of which is to say, you may not trust Google Shopping’s image recommendations—we certainly have our doubts. But if this pushes retailers and the fashion industry as a whole to be a little more diverse, we’re all for it. We can’t quite yet model clothes on our AI-generated selves, but this is one step closer to a dream Cher Horowitz–like life.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise