Asos tech deal to speed up photography, boost personalisation

Online fashion retailers spend a lot of money (and time) on photographing their products on models. But that could all be about to change with news that one of the biggest, Asos, has signed a deal with an Israeli start-up that can ‘dress’ the models digitally with simulated pictures of the product.

Asos should be able to cut down on photography time and costs

The company is working with Zeekit, which can take a picture of a fashion item and then ‘fit' it on different models in different poses across a range of body sizes.

While that means that items still need to be photographed, it could potentially cut down on the amount of photography needed and also reduce the need for multiple images to take into account plus size, petite etc.

Zeekit hasn't said how much is the deal is worth but given that Asos offers over 80,000 items to its customers, we have to assume it's at least in six figures.

Asos had sales of nearly £2 billion last year and game-changing technology that allows it to save money on its photography while also speeding up the process of getting items onto its sites, would be hugely important to it.

And with online sales continuing to surge generally, there must be many other pureplay e-tailers looking at such technology, from the mass-market up to the high-end.

Displaying clothing in the most appealing and informative way is a huge challenge for the online retail sector and with consumers increasingly interested in personalisation, as well as demanding much more photography in general, tech such as this could offer a huge business advantage.

For now, the technology can only be used to dress models who Asos has previously photographed. But in the future, Zeekit wants to develop it so that customers can use it to visualise the items on themselves.

Zeekit said that its algorithm means the fashion item doesn't even have to be sent to the vendor in order to create the imagery. Founder and CEO Yael Vizel said: “All the manufacturer has to do is send a picture of the product, and we run the imaging on a bank of models photographed in advance, with no need for a studio production.”

The company was founded five years ago and has raised $12.5 million in funding so far.

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