Tag Archives: revolution

The biggest problem of the ecommerce fashion industry

Year by year we can observe a huge increases in fashion sales. Online sales are slowly becoming the most important part of fashion companies’ revenues. But the Internet creates kind of a wall, which is slowing the whole process and contains us from successful shopping.

In the recent years, fashion and apparel has become the fastest growing e-commerce category and the second largest after consumer electronics, growing form $375.6 billion in 2012 to $481 billion last year. Analysts predicts that the revenue will reach over $700 billion by 2022.

Buying clothes online means that we are not able to try them on and make sure the size fits us. This is why fashion companies have to struggle with a huge percentage of returned products (especially in the winter holiday season), which is something between 30-50% of the whole sales, which causes tremendously high costs connected not only with a return shipping, but also other processes needed to get the product back to the stock. Returns are growing even faster than the revenues, increasing 94.8% over the most recently measured five-year period. Moreover, over 4B pounds of returned apparel end up in landfills annually.

“What we hope to do with technology is make that growth rate slower.” Said Roger Graell, director of e-commerce at Spain’s Mango, which expects to make at least one-fifth of sales online by 2020.

Since 2012 there was plenty of startups which were trying to solve the problem with size fitting. Millions of dollars were invested in projects which were making kind of virtual fitting rooms (Avametric, Fitiquette), 3D scanners (Body Labs, Nettelo) and AI based algorithms (Virtusize, Pixibo). Most of them do not survive these days.

However, in 2016 three Ukrainian engineers created a technology, which allows people to scan their bodies using a smartphone’s camera. Their startup (called 3DLook) is implementing its technology to fashion retailers’ online stores. Thanks to that customers are able to measure themselves by taking 2 photos (from the front and from the side) and thanks to that can find out what is the perfect size for them. Technology is simply comparing customer’s measurement with producer’s size table.

3DLook claims to use advanced machine learning, AI and image processing to achieve their results. Recently, they got funding of $1 million for further development. Their technology can be a huge step forward successful apparel online shopping and, according to my research, fashion retailers hope it to be so.

And what is your opinion on this case? How many times did you buy a wrong size of some new clothes? Do you think that such technology is going to solve this problem? Let me know down below!

 

Sources:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-onlineapparel-returns-focus/online-clothing-retailers-hunt-for-better-fit-to-cut-costly-returns-idUSKCN1OK1E2

https://www.ted.com/talks/aparna_mehta_where_do_your_online_returns_go?language=en#t-98979

https://www.retaildive.com/news/forrester-online-fashion-spending-outpaces-overall-digital-sales/522227/

https://independentretailer.com/2018/12/27/ecommerces-serial-return-problem/

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion-tech/can-technology-solve-fit-problem-fashion-e-commerce

https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/ecommerce-fashion-industry

https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/30/body-scanning-app-3dlook-raises-1-million-to-measure-your-corpus/

https://3dlook.me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A NEW GREEN REVOLUTION TO BEGIN?

Tobacco plants that grow as much as 40% larger than usual have been designed by genetic engineers in Illinois. This is the first step in producing larger plants like potatoes which could be distributed to the poor countries throughout the world.

The genetically modified plants are wider and taller from the regular ones. As a team at the University of Illinois and the United States Department of Agriculture said, they gave tobacco something called “photorespiratory bypass”. It is a kind of a cassette of genetic changes that let the plants turn sunlight into energy more efficiently.

What is interesting, in 2016 University of Illinois bioengineers managed to make tobacco plants grow 20% bigger by helping them respond more quickly to changes in light and shade. This time actually they made plants that use less energy during photorespiration, which is a process that plants need to clear out a toxin called glycolate created during photosynthesis. To achieve this, the team had to add about 16,000 letters of novel DNA instructions to tobacco plants.

You are probably wondering why all of these experiments were carried out with the use of tobacco. Not only do tobacco plants grow quickly, but also are easy to genetically modify. The team is known to be already working on similar gene changes to potatoes, soybeans , and cowpeas.

However, as Heike Sederoff, a plant scientist at North Carolina State University claims, there is a long way for researchers to prove that these modifications actually work. He believes that we should not expect such plants in the markets earlier than 20 years from now.

 

Nevertheless, there are plenty of philanthropes and foundation which are hoping that genetic engineering could lead to a huge step forward in farm productivity. Scientists at Illinois were donated by more than $80 million by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The goal of the whole project, which is called RIPE (Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency) is to increase the yields of staple food crops and improve global food security. As we can find out from their website, the Green Revolution’s advances have already reached their biological limits. They find it crucial to keep pace with this century’s growing population (which is forecasted to grow to nearly 10 billion by 2050) and provide food to the biggest possible number of people by making new innovations to agriculture industry.

There are also other organizations trying to find new solutions, like C4 consortium led by Paul Quick at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, which is developing a process called C4 photosynthesis. It boosts plants’ growth by capturing carbon dioxide and concentrating it in specialized cells in the leaves, which allows the photosynthetic process to operate much more efficiently. Researchers claim that engineering C4 photosynthesis into rice and wheat could increase yields per hectare by roughly 50 percent. Alternatively, they believe that it would be possible to use far less water and fertilizer to produce the same amount of food.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would you buy such genetically modified plants without any concerns? Let me know down below!

 

Sources:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/535011/supercharged-photosynthesis/

https://ripe.illinois.edu/objectives/our-story

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612710/gene-engineers-make-super-sized-plants-that-are-40-larger/

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RIVIAN – THE ULTIMATE VEHICLE?

Last week, on the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, we could witness a birth of a new player in the electric cars’ game – Rivian.

To start with, I’ll explain what is hiding under this rather modern name. Rivian’s owner describes his products (because they already launched two, not one) as “The world’s first Electric Adventure Vehicles”. As it turned out, they’ve been working on their project for the last seven years in their headquaters in California (obviously), developing their product with the smallest details and avoiding mistakes previously made by competitors.

So, they made two models – a seven-seat SUV called R1S and R1T, which is a five-seat pick-up. Both of them are based on Rivian’s invention named ‘skateboard’ platform (sounds cool, doesn’t it?), which basically means that parts like the battery, suspension or drive units are placed below the height of each wheel. Not only does it provide much more passenger space, but also a low centre of gravity, which might make the difference in the car that weights 2.6-tonnes.

Potential buyers can opt for three battery sizes: 180kWh (400 mile range) and 135kWh (300 mile range) and a 105kWh battery (230 mile range). Rivian also promises that their products’ interiors are provided with the best quality materials, such as actual wood on the dashboard.

Right, but it all sounds like we’ve already heard that story about a complete revolution in the electric cars industry, best materials, biggest batteries and even bigger numbers attached. Rivian’s owner, RJ Scaringe claims  that he “started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn’t already have.” So, what is so special about this brand?

First of all, their cars are provided with kind of artificial intelligence of the new level. While driving the Rivian, an algorithm constantly analyze your driving style and learn how to better optimize its charge. Welcome to the future!

 

As the Electric Adventure Vehicles, they are expected to provide you some load space, right? Well, in the R1T, there’s 330-litres under the hood (because there’s no engine inside), a 350-litre space in the R1T’s so called ‘gear tunnel’, and a 200-litre bin beneath the rear bed floor.

 

Moreover, both models are equipped with tools like cameras, lidar, radar, ultrasonic and GPS, which allow for ‘Level 3’ autonomy. What does it exactly mean? In Level 3 cars, you’re still needed as a driver, but you are able to transfer safety-critical functions to the vehicle, depending on traffic and other conditions, so they are really close to producing fully autonomous cars with a highest Level 5 autonomy.

And the last but not least – speed. These things are TREMENDOUSLY quick. Both are claimed to reach 60mph in 3 seconds. In a car of this weight, these numbers are far more than impressive.

 

You can already order both of Rivian’s models. The pick-up is expected to be delivered in 2020, and the SUV no earlier than a year after.

So, what do you think about the whole project, apart from the these cars’ names which you probably associate more with a Star Wars’ characters rather than cars? Will Rivian find its niche or make a huge loss? Let me know below!

 

References:

https://www.topgear.com

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/02/autonomous-driving-levels-0-5-implications/

 

 

 

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Hyper-fast charger UsBidi collected on Kickstarter 14 times more than required

A few days charging cable is funded almost 8000 Becker, who invested in UsBidi half a million Australian dollars (about $ 360,000). But the campaign will last 27 days, and most likely, “smart” charger collect half a million in US currency. The goal of the developers was to gather Sydney 35 000 Australian dollars, and at the moment they already have 14 times the amount.

UsBidi creators claim that the speed of charging by USB while using the product is doubled. The device charges more quickly due to the fact that unlike other chargers. UsBidi can not synchronize the data simultaneously with the battery charge. To do this, UsBidi a special button that allows you to turn off synchronization and double the speed of the charge.

Charging is automatically turned off when fully charged, thus protecting it from overheating, and short-term cycles, reduces the service life. Indicator lights UsBidi will know about the status of charging and convenient magnetic mount will lock the cable.

The cable works with smartphones and tablets. Also, the buyer can choose the version with the Lightning connector for Apple devices or for Micro USB devices working on Android. The length of the charging cable can be 30, 90 or 180 cm.

Approximate price for UsBidi would be $18 (+ shipment). Thus the buyer can select the connector, color and length.

More info: UsBidi

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