The Grammys season is back. There are several stories associated with the fashion industry's biggest event, but some of them clearly stand out. Like the one about how a dress worn by Jennifer Lopez inspired Google engineers to create the now widely used image search. She wore the green Versace dress at the Grammys in the year 2000, and it revolutionised the internet forever. Google engineers said it led to a huge increase in the volume of search, which till then was limited to presenting a list of URLs and text.
In a blog post, Google confirmed that this particular outfit led to the invention of Google Images. It is to be noted that Google was founded in 1998 but Google Images wasn't introduced to the site until July 2001.
"But back in 2000, search results were still just a list of blue links. When the Search team realized they weren't able to directly surface the results that people wanted-a picture of Jennifer in the dress-they were inspired to create Google Images," the company said.
Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and Executive Chairman, wrote in Project Syndicate in 2015, "When Google was launched, people were amazed that they were able to find out about almost anything by typing just a few words into a computer." He said that "it was better than anything else, but not great by today's standards."
"So our co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin - like all successful inventors - kept iterating. They started with images. After all, people wanted more than just text," he continued.
Mr Schmidt said Ms Lopez's dress was the most popular search on Google at that time and caught everyone's attention. "This first became apparent after the 2000 Grammy Awards, where Jennifer Lopez wore a green dress that, well, caught the world's attention," he said. However, the team lacked a foolproof plan of giving users what they wanted. "But we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: JLo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born," he concluded.
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In 2020, Ms Lopez wore the same green dress at Versace's Spring-Summer show at Milan Fashion Week. According to Vogue, a montage of Google Image searches for the original Grammy's dress was projected onto the walls at the show before the final few models walked the ramp.
"No one predicted that the jungle print dress would have the technological impact that it did-not even J.Lo herself," the blog added.