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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and the Future of Jewellery Shopping

Not so long ago, the only way you could add on to your biker accessories collection was by walking into a physical store and spending a good chunk of your afternoon looking for something that speaks to the biker in you.

Online stores weren’t quite as popular a few years ago, which meant shopping was quite tedious, even though it was still special walking into a store and taking in the glitter of the rings and chains or the rich, earthly smell of leather.

But the jewellery industry, just like many industries around the world, hasn’t been spared by the disruption brought about by technology, and more specifically, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

These two tech trends have been disrupting industries for a while now, helping to open up a bold new world for shoppers in the process.  

Here are a few ways that AI and AR are poised to change your jewellery shopping experience.

Artificial intelligence for everyday shoppers

Until about a decade ago, AI used to be the kind of thing we only saw in fictional movies or novels. But in recent years, it’s become more common to bump into an element of AI when shopping, and surprisingly enough, most of us don’t even know we’re using AI. One survey, for instance, found that 33 percent of users thought they were using AI when in actual sense 77 percent of them were using the technology.

One of those areas you might bump into AI is when buying anything with a diamond, like a diamond skull bracelet or even an engagement ring. The first AI-driven diamond grading standards were established in 2016, and earlier this year, the first AI-powered grading lab was opened to help guarantee the quality of the diamonds you’re receiving.

AI has also been huge for shipping and logistics, and is part of the reason why many consumers enjoy free or low shipping costs. To help reduce shipping and handling costs, which may cost online retailers up to 70 percent of the total operating expenses, retailers are using AI to plot shorter – thus quicker – delivery routes, with some of those cost savings passed on to you as free or low-cost shipping.    

Augmented reality will let you try your ring at home

Much like AI, augmented reality has been more of science fiction than reality over the past decade. But as hardware improvements continue to make the technology better, more AR-powered solutions are starting to find their way into the consumer market, with the jewellery market poised to experience its share of disruption.

Take for instance Holojem, an AR platform designed to let consumers shop for jewellery from the comfort of their homes. Once you find a jewellery store that uses this platform, you can select from custom designs on the merchant’s site and try them virtually via the platform’s patented rendering system, which is pretty cool.

Another platform, an app for iOS called Dangle, uses elements of AI and VR to help customers find and try earrings without physically going into a jewellery store. The technology uses AR to map the relative position of the ears, allowing the app to place the virtual earrings on your ears and give you the sense that you’re looking at a mirror.

And even though the technology isn’t quite where it’s supposed to be yet, there’s every indication that you’ll soon be using AI and AR to shop, all within the comfort of your home. The biggest experiences so far are offered via more expensive equipment like the Hololens from Microsoft, which paints a picture of an industry that’s prime for disruption.
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