Author: Sarah Perez

Lily raises $2M from NEA and others for a personal stylist service that considers feelings, not just fit

TECHCRUNCH One of the reasons recently IPO’d Stitch Fix became so popular among female shoppers is because of how it pairs the convenience of home try-on for clothing and accessories with a personal styling service that adapts to your tastes over time. But often, personal stylists bring their own subjective takes on fashion to their customers. A new startup called Lily aims to offer a more personalized service that takes into account not just what’s on trend or what looks good, but also how women feel about their bodies and how the right clothing can impact those perceptions. The company has now closed on $2 million in seed funding from NEA and other investors to further develop its technology, which today involves an iOS application, web app and API platform that retailers can integrate with their own catalogs and digital storefronts. To better understand a woman’s personal preferences around fashion, Lily uses a combination of algorithms and machine learning techniques to recommend clothing that fits, flatters and makes a woman feel good. At the start, Lily asks the user a few basic questions about body type and style preferences, but it also asks women how perceive their body. For example, if Lily asks about bra size, it wouldn’t just ask for the size a woman wears, but also how they think of this body part. “I’m well-endowed,” a woman...

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Amazon expands same-day delivery and one-day shipping to thousands more cities

TECHCRUNCH Amazon announced today it has expanded its same-day delivery and one-day shipping service to thousands more markets across the U.S., just in time for last-minute holiday shopping. Before, these services were available to Prime members in 5,000 cities and towns, the retailer tells us. Now, they’re available in over 8,000. The market expansion is not just focused on serving major metros, but brings the services to both larger cities and smaller towns in states including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and others. The move could put Amazon at an...

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Target adds an e-gifting option to its website

TECHCRUNCH Target today unveiled a new e-gifting feature designed for those who think gift cards are too impersonal, but who are just too busy (or too lazy) to actually shop for and mail gifts themselves. The retailer is announcing the launch of a feature called “GiftNow” which lets you browse its site, then pick out an item to be sent via email to your gift recipient. The recipient can choose to accept the gift by providing their shipping address, or they can change the size, or even use the money you spent to buy themselves something else entirely. Because...

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Hulu adds your watchlist and picture-in-picture mode to its web app

TECHCRUNCH Hulu today is rolling out a handful of new features to the beta version of its Live TV service on the web, including a picture-in-picture mode, improved search, and, most notably the addition of the user-controlled watchlist, dubbed “My Stuff.” The updates arrive at a time when Hulu is still dealing with a surge of complaints about its new interface. To say that not everyone has been thrilled with Hulu’s revamp is a bit of an understatement, in fact. The company’s refreshed look-and-feel favored an attractive design over ease-of-use, many have complained. Hulu’s user forums have been lit up since the new interface’s launch with pleas for Hulu to return to its old design, or at least to change the current one to be more functional. Primarily, people say the new navigation is overly complex, making it difficult to find the things they want to watch. The company has been slowly responding to these requests, without fully rolling back the updated design. For example, in October it debuted a grid guide for tracking live TV, noting at the time that it had heard from viewers that the live TV content feels “hidden or harder to get to than you would like.” The new guide aimed to offer a different, less complicated way, to find programming. With today’s addition of “My Stuff” on the web, Hulu seems to be...

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Twitter officially launches ‘threads,’ a new feature for easily posting tweetstorms

TECHCRUNCH Twitter today is announcing the launch of a new feature that will allow people to more easily post tweetstorms – that is, those series of connected tweets that have grown to become a popular workaround for getting past Twitter’s character count limitation in order to share longer thoughts. The company confirmed last month it was testing the feature – which it’s now calling “threads” – across its iOS and Android apps. The tweetstorm format has been used for a long time on Twitter, initially by a small number of early adopters, including a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen, who would often...

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Twitch launches an Alexa skill that plays your channels on Echo Show, offers live audio streams

TECHCRUNCH Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming service, is now available on Alexa. The company says it has launched a new skill for Alexa device owners that will allow Twitch users to track their favorite video creators and be notified when they start streaming, as well as discover new games and channels, among other things. The skill seems best designed for the Echo Show, the Alexa-powered device that includes a screen for watching videos. After all, hearing the action taking place on an audio stream isn’t nearly the same as seeing it play out before your eyes, in real...

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Tinder is testing a feed of real-time updates from your matches, including posts from Instagram and Spotify

TECHCRUNCH Tinder announced today it’s beginning a test of a new feature called “Feed” designed to help users learn more about their matches. The Feed, which will appear as a tab on the Messages screen, will include real-time updates from those you’ve already matched with, including things like recently added Tinder photos, plus Instagram posts and your Top Artists and Anthems from Spotify. This is data Tinder users could already see, had their matches connected these external accounts to their profile. The idea is to present this information in a new format. Explains the company, the Feed is meant...

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Google launches three new photography apps for testing experimental technology

TECHCRUNCH Google today is launching a trio of new photo apps – a part of new series of what it has dubbed photography “appsperiments.” (Get it? Ha ha.) The apps, some of which are available on both the iOS App Store and Google Play, give Google a way to test out more experimental features to see how users respond, the company explains in an announcement on its Google Research blog. The apps involve a number of technologies now in development at Google, including those focused on object recognition, person segmentation, stylization algorithms, efficient image encoding and decoding technologies, Google says. Specifically,...

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