Fashion innovator Fareda Ali at her Earth On One Eight mobile pod. John Varughese/Gulf Today
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Millenials or the GenYs and the GenZs (1980s to the present) may no longer have an inkling about the dawn milkman on horse/water buffalo carriages/carts or motorised milk floats. Those from or who have been in the Philippines may no longer connect with the provincial folk travelling around neighbourhoods and even as far as cities selling nipa/bamboo day-to-day furniture, decor and ware on board “carabao/cow-powered” covered rickety wagons.
These were well-remembered on Wednesday afternoon when Dubai-based fashion entrepreneur Fareda Ali spoke with Gulf Today about the “EOO8” concept-cum-invention among other Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven creations introduced to the media and fashion aficionadoes at the D3 or Dubai Design District.
Ali is a UAE-born Sudanese-Canadian fascinated since childhood by the feel, silhouette, and sight of all fabrics, colours and designs elegantly to outlandishly laced. The fascination and passion led her to earn a degree in Fashion Design and Marketing from the Esmod Institute in Dubai two years back.
Now, what enabled the 32-year-old to put together the mobile pod Earth Of One Eight (EOO8) and other inventions in the past two years and for which she also credited to the Food Truck Company and Fadi Sharideen is the vision of the UAE leadership to be the smartest in the area of Smart Technology worldwide.
Ali told Gulf Today: “What influenced me is my passion for fashion and the encouragement the UAE leaders give to all of us in the areas of innovation and digitalisation. I mixed both as I have always been fascinated by the traditional trailer truck concept that brings exclusive brands into town to give the local community some exotic retail experiences.”
Agreeing that the Novel Coronavirus has become a huge factor in pursuing AI into what she wanted to keep the closeness and intimacy between fashion industry players wherever everyone is, Ali also expressed hope that one day, the EOO8 invention could assist the novice in the fashion retail industry.
Measuring nine metres by three metres with the outside a geometric design of the human face, EOO8 is the travelling pod attached to a main vehicle, reminiscent of the animal-driven milk/local merchandise wagons of yesteryear. The idea is that this goes around and stations anywhere in the UAE and hopefully around the region and elsewhere in the world, according to demand. It carries the actual off-the-rack and creations of greenhorn to well-established fashion designers or brands as other accoutrements may be displayed by means of hologrammes. There is the magic mirror that is a cut above the online selling wherein the buyer is assured that what is selected from the array of the hung or hologrammed goods fits. This is so as the magic mirror becomes the tailor or the dressmaker that does the measuring to ensure that even though the chosen garment is not actually fitted by the person (contactless fitting), what is delivered right at the doorstep is neither loose nor tight, neither short nor long. The client clicks on the magic mirror for the menu of the displays, chooses, contactlessly fits and if decided, purchases. With the magic mirror is a chatbox.
Other AI technologies developed by Ali in the past two years of “sleepness nights” supported by her family are two mannequins. Hold up the smartphone and one swirls and wiggles to demonstrate how the get-up on her appears to a possible buyer (another form of contactless fitting). Again, hold up the smartphone and the technicolour mannequin shows fashion in various colours and forms. There are touch sensors, motion matching and social media filters.
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