Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
It happens to the best of us: we see a dress while we're out and about, but it's gone before we can ask where to find it. Rather than resort to search engines for a frustrating (and often futile) hunt, one Silicon Valley-and-Israel-based startup is doing the legwork to streamline the search with its app Donde. It works a lot like the "Twenty Questions" game, asking a user about the specifics of the dress before presenting options. With a database of hundreds of thousands of dresses, the app is confident that it has what you're looking for—or something very similar.
Co-founder Liat Zakay described her thought process behind the app to TechCrunch, saying, "I would need just a computer that would ask me the right questions and would lead me in seconds to finding it, using artificial intelligence of the contextual information — who you are, what's your location, what's your environment."
At the moment, the free iOS app is focused on dresses, and it's already survived extensive beta testing by USC students. "We've successfully proved we're viral within sororities," Liat claims on TechCrunch Disrupt's Startup Battlefield. If it passed that test, it's likely that the app can pass yours.
· Donde Aims To Make Online Product Search Far Less Frustrating [TechCrunch]
· Donde Fashion [Official Site]
· Can a Thiel Fellow Build a Better Shopping App? [Racked SF]