In September we launched the second Europeana Challenge of 2016, dedicated to fashion. We offered a share of €20.000 for the best idea(s) of how to creatively re-use Europeana and Europeana Fashion’s openly licensed fashion content in a digital product, service or business. An expert jury assessed applications from right across the EU and 6 teams were invited to a tough Skype interview in early December 2016. We are now delighted to present the team behind CRAFT, the winning project, who have been awarded the full 20.000 EUR challenge prize.
CRAFT - the creative artificial fashion tool
...Imagine a web platform based on advanced artificial intelligence tools that can automatically identify clothing in photos and change their style based on Europeana’s fashion content and your preferences!
How will it work for me?
You upload a photo containing one or more items of clothing - like a skirt, shirt or shoes - to the platform. You can select one or more of the items of clothing in the photos - CRAFT will automatically identify what they are. A choice of styles (created from Europeana’s fashion collection) is displayed on the screen, and you select which style you'd like to apply to each piece of clothing. You can also search Europeana to make your own content selection or find links that will lead you to interesting material. Styles from a wide set of Europeana content (from photography to artworks) can be applied to every kind of fashion clothing the tool can recognise.
Selecting a style will trigger a real-time online process which will apply the style to the item, thus creating and displaying new fashion items on your screen. The creations you make using Europeana content will be analysed in order to provide recommendations for related styles or new items from retailers. At the same time, you'll be able to save your creation, share your new favourite digital creation on social media and learn more about the fashion item by clicking a link taking you to the original record on Europeana.
Europeana images used in order of appearance left to right:
- Shift dress. David Ring. ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen, Belgium. Public Domain.
- Brown leather calf-length boot with green and orange appliqu. Grey embroidery inside of appliqu. Creator unknown. Victoria and Albert Museum, UK. CC BY.
- Shift dress creation showing CRAFT functionality, using two Europeana records. NSAT, Cyprus. CC BY-SA.
What's the business model?
The team takes a business to business (B2B) approach and will target online fashion retail portals (e.g. shopify.com, etsy.com). The CRAFT tool can be embedded in the product page of online stores and provide a quality service to increase user retention and product sales. The playful feature will capture users’ attention and make them stay longer on the site, revisit and, even share their creative digital cultural heritage creation to their favourite social media platform. From a retailer’s perspective, the CRAFT tool will provide a unique understanding of their online shopping audience, help spot new fashion trends, enhance brand awareness through re-sharing of content and increase sales.
Tell me about the team!
The CRAFT team is made up of four members with diverse technical and business backgrounds. Kostas Rapantzikos (PhD) is a senior computer vision and machine learning engineer with experience in academia and industry, and he will lead on technical coordination. Dinos Arkoumanis (PhD) is a senior software architect and as an experienced entrepreneur he will lead the business unit. Christos Varytimidis (PhD) is a computer vision engineer and will make sure that the trained models are performing well. Evangelos Anagnostopoulos (MSc) is a junior software architect, a skilled developer with a background in machine learning who will optimize and integrate the algorithms.
In March 2017, the team will release a demo-creativity tool that will allow the user to create photos of unique style based on free to reuse Europeana content. By the end of June 2017, we will see a user interface that can be embedded on e-retailers' platforms that will allow customers to engage with Europeana's fashion-related content in new and creative ways!