MACY'S NEW IMAGES SEARCH APP1Mega retailer Macy’s has unveiled a new app that allows customers to snap photos of outfits they like, upload them and have the same or similar items identified from its existing inventory and made available for immediate purchase. 

The app, which is available on the Macy’s website, was created by the Macy’s Idea Lab in San Francisco in partnership with Cortexica, a company that specializes in mobile image recognition and uses proprietary software called findSimilar, says WWD. Cortexica, which has offices in London and San Francisco, also works with Kate Bosworth’s recently launched Style Thief app. Macy’s is the first major American retailer to use this technology, according to Cortexica. Other U.S. retailers are also embracing shopping apps including Lord & Taylor, which allows shoppers to buy from its catalogues after scanning an image from a catalogue, as well as Neiman Marcus, an early adopter of mobile shopping.

Steve Semenzato, co-founder and vice president of business development for Cortexica, said the app will fulfill the “retail fashion industry’s appetite to have consumers find what they’re looking for in a single click.”

The software mimics the way the human visual cortex inteprets images by searching for products based on color, texture, pattern and shape. For example, Semenzato explained, a consumer can take a photo of a flower or a flowered shirt and the app will search “against inventory we’ve ingested to match the two” and suggest shirts or dresses with a similar pattern. “It gets you to inventory that is similar if not exactly the same.”