GrokStyle, Inc. Wins Phase II Grant with NSF IIP

InteliSpark client GrokStyle, Inc. has won a $747,959 contract with the National Science Foundation Division of Industrial Innovation Partnership for the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project, “Innovative Visual Search and Similarity for Decor, Apparel, and Style”.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to develop visual search for product recognition in the furniture and home décor vertical. Text-based searches have revolutionized the ability of people to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently as they are able to find the information they desire in an organized, compiled, and logical manner. Visual search provides the next level of disruption in search capabilities by allowing users to find information even more rapidly and accurately by using images. The deep learning-based software being developed will allow consumers to find products they are interested in, and co-purchase related products, quickly. Further, users will be more engaged through exposure to designer photographs of products (inspirational photography). By helping customers find exactly what they are looking for in a timely manner, user engagement and productivity will be increased. Further, related style-based recommendations will increase purchasing overall. Increased spending stimulates economic growth by increasing taxable revenue by retailers, and through increased sales taxes generated from the purchases. 

This project seeks to develop a visual search engine that is poised to disrupt retail and ecommerce by switching the focus from text-based to visual search-based exploration. The platform initially targets interior décor and furniture where deep learning techniques are trained to recognize products across a wide range of conditions

 A client-facing REST API will allow retailers, designers, and media companies to programmatically access functionality of the platform, and build their own user interfaces and apps on top of the deep learning technology. Lastly, it is proposed to develop a white-label app that can be customized for individual retailers who want to distribute this visual search capability to their customers. Achieving these objectives will create state-of-the-art performance in visual search for applications in interior design, apparel search, real estate search, and product look-up.