- Adding another tech tool to its assortment, Lowe’s has created an interactive digital replica of its store within NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise’s environment, where associates can interact and visualize store data to better optimize operations and logistics, according to a Tuesday press release.
- Associates can access the digital models — which are currently live at two stores — from desktop computers or via Magic Leap 2 augmented reality headsets. With the virtual replica of the store, the company is testing a variety of use cases including "AR X-ray vision" for associates to view items available on higher shelves instead of needing to climb a ladder.
- The retailer also announced plans to make its photo-realistic 3D product assets available to Omniverse developers within “the coming weeks,” so that they can access the Lowe's Open Builder library in the upcoming Omniverse update.
For Lowe’s, the rollout of its digital twin is part of its ongoing investment in new technologies.
The digital twin, which is a complete virtual replica of one of the company’s home improvement stores, combines spatial data with Lowe’s data, including product location and historical order information. Those sources are integrated into a visual package that can be accessed on a range of devices.
The company is exploring a number of functions with the technology. Associates can view a hologram of the digital twin overlaid with the physical store in augmented reality. This helps compare what a store shelf should look like with what it actually looks like so it is stocked with the correct products. Additionally, associates can view sales performance and customer traffic data by using 3D heatmaps and distance measurements of items that are frequently purchased together, among other operations.
“We're thrilled to pioneer retail digital twins and elevate experiences for both our associates and customers,” Seemantini Godbole, Lowe's executive vice president, chief digital and information officer, said in a statement. “Through emerging technology, we are always imagining and testing ways to improve store operations and remove friction for our customers.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the retail industry, Lowe’s had unveiled mobile apps with augmented reality technology. The retailer unveiled its Measure Your Space tool last November to allow customers to scan and measure their spaces before making home improvements. In June, the retailer debuted more than 500 free digital assets in Lowe’s Open Builder, its metaverse hub. It also released a limited-edition, wearable NFT collection on Decentraland, another digital asset platform.
As Lowe’s introduces digital tools and goods, it faces competition from its rival Home Depot. While Lowe’s saw its Q2 2022 net sales dip by 0.3% from 2021 to $27.5 billion, Home Depot reported a 6.5% rise in second-quarter net sales compared to last year to $43.8 billion.