Lowe’s is adding two new augmented reality tools to its AR app roster early October, including a virtual tape measure app called Measured, and an app called Envisioned by The Mine, which allows customers to visualize furniture in their own homes or workplaces, according to a press release.
Both apps are built on Apple’s ARkit development platform and can be used on iphone models 6s or newer. Measured, which uses the smartphone camera view to help users measure a specific distance, is already available for download at Apple’s App Store.
Envisioned gives users access to 3D images of items generated by Lowe’s Innovation Labs’ proprietary 3D content creation and distribution technology called LIL 3D.
The emergence of Apple's ARkit and the official launch of iOS 11 last week have drawn several new retailers into the AR app game, but Lowe's isn't a newcomer. The home improvement retailer has been looking to leverage AR since well before ARKit came into play, having announced its Lowe's Vision app for in-home project help and its Lowe's Vision: In-Store Navigation app earlier this year.
The retailer has also been leading the way on 3D modeling technology in-house, announcing LIL 3D, a so-called "ultra-realistic" 3D tech in July. As more retailers, particularly from the home improvement and home decor sectors, bring out their own AR apps, having proprietary stakes in some of the tech used and experience working with it could be a differentiator for Lowe's.
The retailer looks to have the largest AR app roster of any retailer, with at least four apps that have been announced. The first two were built using Google Tango technology, usable only on the two mobile devices that support the technology so far — the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus Zenfone AR — while these two latest apps will get the benefit of being built on Apple's new and much-hyped ARkit, and, more significantly, will be available to millions of users of many different iPhone models.