Let's pretend i'm better dressed than i am. I'm walking
down the street and a stranger says "Hey, i like your t-
shirt, where did you get it from?". Except he doesn't
because he's a) British and b) A man. Hence this isn't even
close to acceptable behaviour.
Instead he takes a photo on his mobile
phone (nor is this
acceptable i know, but this social acceptance thing is a
bagatelle) and sends it to "fashion server". Here the photo
is matched to a database of clothing items, each tagged
with prices, retail outlets and availability. The info is sent
back to him immediately and he pays some nominal
amount for it, billed to his phone account, obviously.
Costs: 1) Half decent algorithm to match images taken
under 'natural' lighting conditions (this is hardish i know,
but the search space isn't that large and many items would
be readily identifiable)
2) little bit of off the shelf technology for the telco set up
3) populating your database with details of clothing
Revenue generated by: users buying the info.
If you got enough ppl using it, suppliers would pay to be up
to date on your database since it's effectively free
marketing. Your phone might also track your location and
point you to the nearest store stocking the item. Stockists
could compete for this info. You could also do some sell
through with similar style items.
As the service became known, ppl would get used to
having their photos sneakily taken and it would be a kind
of compliment, not an irritating intrusion. Maybe.