[Improve the Daily Life] A Smart Wardrobe and Future Apparels

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As a student,  Alice did not really care about shopping apparels, but her dear mother kept sending her packages of apparels: from everyday T-Shirts to really formal evening gowns. Alice rented a room in a small dormitory with a small wardrobe. She had to fold most of her apparels and stock them tightly, and then forgot about them. As a result, she did not really know what she had in her wardrobe, when she was in need of particular outfit. In rare cases, it could took her hours to take everything out of the wardrobe, try on the pieces one by one, pick the pieces she just liked, and finally tidy up the whole mess in her bedroom.

She thought: It would be nice if the wardrobe could tell her what are in it. And even better, pick the right pieces for her particular occasions. It could save her time and free her mind for more important things.

Soon she developed a wish list for the features of a smart wardrobe and the corresponding equipment in future apparels:
  • Every piece of clothes should have an embedded chip, which stores the information about this piece. The information could just be an industry-wide unique ware ID. A wardrobe or any other networked terminal can retrieve more data about this clothes with its ID. This chip should be wash-resistant.  
  • When a clothe is put into the smart wardrobe, it should remember this piece (technically: store the ware ID in its local memory), and able to locate this piece when there are many folded clothes in the wardrobe.
  • Connected to various information sources, the wardrobe should know about all relevant things when doing a stylist job:
    • Current style trend
    • Historical style trends
    • Weather of the wearing day
    • The audience whom the user is going to meet
    • Cultural preferences and taboos of clothing, of the place she is going to visit
    • With some kind of training, the wardrobe should know about the user's own style preferences
    • etc, etc. 
  • With all the information available, the wardrobe should recommend to the user a small amount of sets from its storage. 
  • Instead of a mirror, a big screen could be mounted on the front of the wardrobe. "Trying on" of the recommendations could be shown on the screen, without the user really trying the clothes on. 
  • Ideally, the wardrobe should have a slit, where the user can bring in a piece of clothes. It can then automatically fold the clothes. And when any piece is needed, that piece could come out of that slit, without the user opening the door of the wardrobe and taking that piece out. 
  • A style is complete with matching hair and makeup. After a recommendation of clothing has been chosen, the wardrobe could also recommend matching hair, makeup, shoes and bag.
Alice even wanted to implement this idea as her graduate thesis. But that was more than ten years ago. There were so few publicly available analytical APIs, Alice felt overwhelmed by the work she had to do all alone. As a no-name student, she did not think she could get an appointment with people like Amancio Ortega, to talk about embedding an RFID chip in every piece of the clothes he produces.

Later, when Alice worked as an "enterprise" software engineer for several years, two more ideas came to her old imagination of a smart wardrobe:
  • The recommendation does not have to be limited by the clothes she owns in her wardrobe. Apparel manufacturers or vendors could send in their information for the wardrobe to judge. If the end user likes a certain look, the deal could be made right on the wardrobe. The order could be delivered within days.
  • She does not have to buy all the recommendation she finally agreed. Some kinds of apparels, such as evening gowns, are too wasteful to own. There could be some apparel-renting or apparel-sharing services. She could rent a look, just like borrowing a book from a library. 

Rich people have huge rooms for their apparels, they do not need to fold anything. And they could hire a team of stylists and butlers in the form of real people. She thinks her idea of the new logistic of apparels would significantly enhance the quality of average people's appearance, at the same time save their space and time.

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