Home improvement retailer Lowe’s has unveiled its interactive retail digital twin in two stores and will open its virtual 3D product catalog to populate this new technology in the coming weeks. Lowe’s digital twin is powered by the NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise, which allows associates to engage with a store’s digital data to optimize operations and localize plans to build a stronger approach to customer service.
The digital twin is a virtual replica of a brick-and-mortar home improvement store that has been created in NVIDIA’s Omniverse environment. By aligning spatial data with other Lowe’s data, such as product location and historical order information, a visual package is created for access over a range of devices, including desktops and AR headsets.
The 3D assets are the same media used to populate the digital twin and yield a solution that blends AI, 3D and AR. Once Lowe’s releases its selection of photorealistic 3D product assets to Omniverse developers, builders of virtual and augmented projects will be able to access the retailer’s Open Builder library.
Lowe’s hopes to build on its digital twin technology to introduce new advancements such as:
- AR reset and restocking support, which would allow Lowe’s associates to see a hologram of the digital twin overlaid atop the physical store in augmented reality;
- AR X-ray vision, using computer vision and Lowe’s inventory APIs to view information about items that are obscured or located on shelves that are difficult to reach through an AR overlay, bypassing the need to climb a ladder or use a lift;
- AR collaboration, to update the digital twin through collaboration with centralized store planners by notating it on a digital twin with an AR “sticky note”; and
- Store visualization and optimization, to view sales performance and customer traffic data, enhancing the in-store experience by using 3D heat maps and product placement testing via distance measurements of items frequently bought together.
Next month, Lowe’s plans to open its new Tech Hub in Charlotte, N.C. to develop technology solutions that will support its omnichannel growth.
“Through emerging technology, we are always imagining and testing ways to improve store operations and remove friction for our customers,” said Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s EVP and Chief Digital and Information Officer in a statement. “As Lowe’s continues to shape the future of home improvement retail, the Tech Hub nurtures our development of solutions to complex problems.”