H&M Turns to Voice and AR in an Effort to Recover from Declining Stock Prices

In a series of efforts to win back consumers and recover from declining stock prices, H&M is turning to technology. Yesterday, the company announced new high-tech features during Stockholm Fashion Tech Talks, a conference on fashion digitization. Working with Google, H&M has developed a voice app for H&M Home in selected markets, one of the first voice applications to ever be released within the fashion- and interior segment. In addition, the H&M group brand Monki has partnered up with HoloMe to explore a unique creation of high definition human holograms in Augmented Reality,

“At H&M group we constantly work on innovations that create extraordinary customer experiences. The fashion industry is changing fast and technology is more important than ever as an enabler in adapting to an ever-changing society” Elin Frendberg, H&M group Business Development said in a press release.

The voice application, known as H&M Home Stylist, is a personal assistant which will provide styling suggestions, mood boards, and inspiration for every room in the home. Customers will ask the Google Assistant to talk to H&M Home Stylist on their phones, and a human voice will respond. H&M Group says the Home Stylist will be further tested and developed with user input.

In a bolder move, Monki, a subsidiary of H&M Group, partnered with HoloMe, a London-based augmented reality company, to test high-definition human holograms. Accessible through a smartphone or tablet, shoppers will be able to view images of nine selected Monki outfits, which will be rendered in great detail as if they’re present in the room. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen fast fashion companies turn to AR for innovative in-store experiences. Earlier this spring, Zara rolled out AR experiences across flagship retail locations.

“The two cases we are announcing and testing are illustrations of cutting-edge technology in our field. We are really excited and proud to soon release our first voice stylist for H&M Home and to be able to explore a world with a unique Hologram/Augmented Reality experience for the Monki customer” says Frendberg.

Stockholm Fashion Tech Talks takes place in conjunction to the Brilliant Minds/Symposium Stockholm, a conference for global thought leaders, and is held at Fotografiska Museum in Stockholm.

Amanda Cosco
Amanda is a freelance journalist and consultant focused on the intersection of fashion and technology and the founder of Electric Runway.

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