DENVER — If love is in the air this Valentine's Day, flowers and fine dining might be part of the plans.
But a jewelry business out of Denver is ready for whenever a relationship reaches the next level. They want to make it easy to pick the right engagement ring by swiping right.
You're In Good Company with Engage Jeweler. Michael Pollak has been selling jewelry in Denver for 45 years.
"I love how it connects people," Pollak said. "It's very symbolic, and it generally celebrates something about a relationship between a couple."
Now, technology has finally taken over an experience that was traditionally done in person. Engagement rings are one of life's biggest purchases, and Pollak wants the buyer to feel confident about it.
"I would say the biggest fear for the purchaser is to make sure they get the purchase correct," Pollak said. "It means they picked the right style and they pay the correct price."
Pollak started Hyde Park Jewelry in 1976, and recently launched its virtual companion Engage. The iOS app uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to help the purchaser select, build and buy an engagement ring.
"It takes the guess work out of it," Pollak said. "There's over 600 rings to choose from online and over a million and a half variations, and we realize that's overwhelming."
During the search, the algorithms go to work and start making recommendations.
"You can dislike a setting by going to the left. You can like a setting going to the right," Pollak said. "Through this fine tuning of the smart recommendation process, it really narrows it down."
Buyers can also upload images or connect to a person's social media accounts, and the app will pair diamonds, settings and metals based on the information provided. Filters can be added to sort by size, cut, clarity and price.
"I've already ranked what I think are the most important order of the filters," said Pollak as he scrolled through the app. "But you can easily change that order."
Their next step is to mail samples in a box, so the buyer can make their pick without setting foot in a store. It's the latest evolution in a digital world that's already in everyone's hands. Engage just adds a little bling to it.
"For more and more [people], they're used to buying everything online," Pollak said. "Everything from their groceries, to their airline tickets, to everything about their life. And we don't think it's that much of a jump for them to buy their engagement ring online."
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