This App Lets You Shop On-screen Characters’ Looks, Instantly

Photo: Courtesy Ever.
You're watching an episode of House of Cards and Claire Underwood walks on screen. She's wearing a gorgeous LBD that would be perfect for an upcoming cocktail party. So you start Googling. And Googling. And Googling. Figuring out — and buying — what your favorite TV or YouTube personalities are wearing shouldn't have to be a convoluted process, and a new app called Ever aims to make it as easy as a tap. Just download its iOS or Android app and install its Chrome extension, and then watch video either on YouTube on your computer, or streaming on your TV. Tap the button at the bottom of the app's screen when you see something you like, and it will take a screenshot of what's playing. From there, the app will identify the character, what they're wearing, other objects in the scene, where the scene was shot, and give you links to buy anything available for purchase. It keeps tabs of every scene you've screen grabbed, so if you like something and want to come back to it later, you can. Unfortunately, Ever doesn't do this magically with every single TV show and YouTube video out there. It doesn't work with live TV — only streaming video from sources like a Roku and (soon) Apple TV. And since it just launched, right now it only works with the FNTV Lifestyle channel and Michelle Phan YouTube videos, but more partnerships are reportedly on the way. In a demo, the app looked promising. While watching a makeup tutorial, I could hover my mouse over the video to see small pop-ups of the makeup being used in each step, with a link to where I could buy it. If I didn't want to see that information, I simply moved my mouse away. Thanks to the Chrome extension, a small icon in the upper right of the video let me know if a video is Ever-enabled. While the app is very limited right now, to be able to answer the question, "What is she wearing?" and buy it two taps later, could change how we shop, or change how ads are presented in streaming video. It could also help budding designers receive more notice when their clothing is featured in a show. If Ever can snag a partnership (or be acquired) by a big time streaming player like Netflix or HBO, well, we can safely say our wallet may not be very happy. If you want to try out Ever for yourself, you can grab the app on iOS or Android.

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