We may first see them on the runway, but the trends that truly stick with us all live in one place: our Google search bar. It's where we ask our deepest, darkest fashion questions — "Are cropped flares really a thing?," "Does anyone actually like baby bags?" — and hope to find answers.

Last year, the search engine finally recognized the power that lies in its records, introducing a fashion report that documents which trends are in and out, according to search volume. In 2015, we saw the popularity of one-shoulder and peplum dresses fall, making way for tulle skirts and jogger pants. (This was the year of athleisure, after all.) For 2016, Google's calling out items we've already seen pop up in our closets — and those we could already sense falling to the back shelves. 

This time around, the company expanded the scope of its research to include the U.S. and the U.K., looking into the top searched-for apparel categories between May 2014 and May 2016. In a somewhat surprising turn, some early-aughts trends appear to be on the way out, even though the '90s are very much in the zeitgeist right now (the two are close cousins, after all, and had been trending together). Google observed a steady decline in interest in drop-crotch pants, see-through clothes, acid-wash jeans, and babydoll dresses. It predicts asymmetrical skirts and waist trainers will experience a similar drop (despite constant Kardashian endorsement) over the next few years — something to maybe keep in mind during your next closet purge.

The search engine grouped its findings into three main stories: military-inspired (think bomber jackets and biker pants), free-spirited (in line with the easy-going nature of off-the-shoulder tops), and ready-to-go (think one-pieces and rompers). Then, there are the specifics: Google identified a set of trends it calls "rising stars," which have seen a spike in interest over the past few months but might not have staying power. These include off-the-shoulder topsbodysuits, and bralettes. The lace-up top was also highlighted in this category for the U.S. market; for the U.K., it was the co-ord. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the "falling stars" — pieces that have enjoyed their moment and are now losing steam when it comes to Google searches. (Suede skirts, we're looking at you.)

Google does point to certain categories it considers "safe bets" — both because they've seen more user interest and because they have seasonal potential to come back. In 2016, biker pants (skinny-fit trousers with ribbed and moto elements) and ripped jeans are looking to be a pretty solid choice, if you trust American and British Google users. The search engine also predicts bomber jackets, coatigans (a coat/cardigan hybrid), and shirt dresses will become even more ubiquitous as the year rolls on. (It's no surprise, then, that these trends are already featured prominently in Zara's fall '16 offering.) 

The report, which you can read in full here, details the rise of each trend and corresponding item down to the color, fabric, and pattern that's proven to be most popular. Here's to going about your fall shopping in the most informed way, ever.

Source : http://www.refinery29.com/2016/08/121264/fall-clothing-trends-bomber-jackets-2016

 

Categorized in Future Trends

Swiss-based semantic search company Hulbee, which launched a consumer search engine in the U.S. this August, has closed a $9 million angel funding.

The investors are not being disclosed beyond the firm saying one is a serial entrepreneur from Switzerland and the other is a business person from Canada.

Hulbee is positioning its consumer search offering as a pro-privacy alternative to mainstream search engines like Google, with a pledge that unlike those guys it does not track users. So it’s competing with other search players in the pro-privacy space, such as DuckDuckGo.

Although, unlike DDG, it has its own (semantic) search tech too — which it’s touting as another differentiator, along with a “clean interface”, and search results supplemented by a word cloud of related themes/content that allow users to narrow their search with a few considered clicks. Hulbee

It also has its own ad system, rather than bolting on a third party ad network. And again here it’s taking a non-tracking approach. Ads on Hulbee are targeted based on the search query, according to CEO Andreas Wiebe, so there’s no geotargeting or cumulative tracking. (Although users can specify their region in order to ensure more relevant search results, so it may have basic country data. And once you step off Hulbee and onto whatever website you were trying to find chances are their ad networks will start tracking you, unless you’re running an ad blocker…)

“Unlike Google’s offering, Hulbee doesn’t fall back on surveillance, so there’s no geotargeting. For Hulbee, the user is completely invisible,” says Wiebe. “Hulbee only focuses on the search query, and definitely doesn’t know where it’s from or who entered it.”

“The fundamental idea… is to win over consumers who prioritize ownership of their data. We recognize that most consumers do not want to be tracked,” he adds.

Such a partial view of the user does not lend itself to highly targeted ‘interest-based advertising’ — so Hulbee is also focusing on touting a brand-building proposition to advertisers (hence the Coca-Cola graphic in the word cloud, above right).

“Unlike traditional search engines, we don’t focus on highly focused targeting, but instead specialize in ‘mass informing’ of our visitors, including image, brand name, event advertising. Thus, we obviously will be interested, for example, in global companies launching a new brand or product, such as the film industry promoting the new movies or an event tie-in,” says Wiebe.

“We’re dealing with fairly sophisticated visitors. Although we do not track and don’t ‘know’ our visitors, we can say with certainty that our user is a person following modern trends in such areas as information security, privacy, etc. That user is concerned about their own privacy, weighing the aspects of their web activity and understanding the consequences and risks of certain actions.”

As well as aiming to appeal to individuals with concerns about their privacy, the search engine is being targeted at parents with concerns about the kind of content their kids might be exposed to online — given it has a built-in filter for violent and pornographic content.

Hulbee is not a startup, having spent 15 years working on semantic search for the b2b space, and selling enterprise-grade search and data analytics to European companies. But it is relatively new to the consumer space — launching a Swiss search engine, called Swisscows.ch, in June 2014 as a first step.

In these post-Snowden tech times, it reckons there’s a fresh opportunity to differentiate on privacy and security grounds vs dominant consumer search players (Google has a circa 90 per cent share of the search market in Europe). And notes, for instance, that its servers are located in Switzerland, so away from the prying eyes of the NSA — or indeed the European Union.

The angel funding will specifically be used to expand its consumer search engine, according to Wiebe. “We have a big mountain to climb with a lot of competitors,” he admits. “[We’ll use the] money to continue to building and develop our search engine for consumers.”

After launching its consumer search engine in the U.S. this summer it added 30 more markets in September, and is now available in 60 countries. It’s not breaking out user data at this stage but says Swisscows.ch is processing more than five million queries per month, while Hulbee.com is processing more than eight million search queries monthly.

The company is also planning to step up its enterprise search activity, with the launch of an enterprise search product specifically targeted at medium and small companies planned for this later month, and an enterprise search engine that aims to compete with Microsoft, Google and HP slated for November.

https://techcrunch.com/2015/10/07/hulbee-angel-round/

Categorized in Search Engine

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.

Follow Us on Social Media

Book Your Seat for Webinar GET FREE REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY      Register Now