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Amazon launches Prime Wardrobe to eat the fashion industry



Amazon today launched Prime Wardrobe, a service like Trunk Club and other online retailers that lets you order clothes and return them free if they don’t live up to your expectations. Prime Wardrobe offers a little twist, however: The more you keep, the more you save. Keep four items in your box and get 10 percent off. Save five or more and receive 20 percent off. Boxes are resealable and come with a shipping label.

Amazon is currently testing Prime Wardrobe, so the service can’t be used to order clothes just yet, though you can sign up to be notified when it comes to your area.

The Amazon Echo Look — available by invitation only — is one of the latest Alexa devices to be released and could be a good compliment to a Prime Wardrobe account. Echo Look comes with a computer vision-powered assistant who helps you decide what to wear, but computer vision is also used by online retailers to do things like sizing and fitting clothes, or finding items of clothing similar to a piece you like.

Amazon venturing deeper into the fashion industry doesn’t just pose a threat to ecommerce retailers like Trunk Club who promise free shipping for return items, but could potentially impact a range of fashion companies that incorporate AI into their services like Stitch Fix, which uses computer vision for fittings, and startups like Mode.ai, whose bot helps you find clothing based on pictures you send it.

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UK drone rules will require you to take safety tests

UK drone rules will require you to take safety tests

US officials might be easing up on drone regulations, but their UK counterparts are pushing forward. The British government has instituted rules that require you to not only register any robotic aircraft weighing over 250g (0.55lbs), but to take a "safety awareness" test to prove you understand the drone code. Regulators hope that this will lead to fewer drones flying over airports and otherwise causing havoc in British skies. Not that they're taking any chances -- the UK is also planning wider use of geofencing to prevent drones from flying into dangerous airspace.

The new rules come following a study highlighting the dangers of wayward drones. A smaller drone isn't necessarily safer than its larger alternatives, for example -- many of those more compact models have exposed rotors that can do a lot of damage. A drone weighing around 400 g (0.88lbs) can crack the windscreen of a helicopter, while all but the heaviest drones will have trouble cracking the windscreen of an airliner (and then only at speeds you'd expect beyond the airport). While you might not cause as much chaos as some have feared, you could still create a disaster using a compact drone.

It's nothing new to register drones, of course, and it doesn't appear to have dampened enthusiasm in the US. The test adds a wrinkle, though: how willing are you to buy a drone if you know you'll have to take a quiz? The test likely won't slow sales too much, if at all, but it could give people one more reason to pause before buying a drone on impulse. Manufacturers appear to be in favor of the new rulebook, at any rate -- DJI tells the BBC that the UK is striving for a "reasonable" solution that balances safety with a recognition of the advantages that drones can bring to public life.

Source: Gov.uk (1), (2)

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