Instead of building its own branded space in the metaverse, Lowe’s is focusing on doing what it does best — helping its customers bring their own (virtual) building projects to life.
For its first foray into the metaverse, the home improvement retailer is making 500 3D products available to download for free through its new Open Builder asset hub. Among the virtual items that will be available for metaverse creators are lighting, patio furniture, area rugs, kitchen and bath accessories and décor accents, all inspired by items from the retailer’s real-world shelves.
“We’ve been at the forefront of building since the beginning, and the metaverse is in a pivotal stage of development,” said Marisa Thalberg, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at Lowe’s in a statement. “It’s only natural that we would be interested in working alongside and in service of the emerging community of builders creating this new world, with the democratization of possibility in mind. At the same time, we are also very clear on our reason for being — to make homes better for all by helping our customers to create real-world value in their homes, in their jobs and in their communities. This will continue to be our North Star in the metaverse.”
With its asset hub, Lowe’s also aims to address one of the key challenges of the metaverse — interoperability across platforms — by creating virtual goods that can be used in a range of digital environments. The digital assets can be used in both metaverse and non-metaverse virtual environments, including gaming platforms, augmented reality activations and for creative design purposes.
In tandem with the debut of Open Builder, the retailer also is releasing a limited-edition collection of NFT wearables in Decentraland that will allow the first 1,000 Open Builder participants to outfit their avatars in boots, hardhats and other accessories.
Lowe’s framed the launch of Open Builder as a natural evolution of other digital visualization tools it has already rolled out, including:
- The recently launched Measure Your Space, which uses LiDAR to sense depth and map the dimensions of a space; and
- Holoroom How To, a virtual reality clinic that taught customers how to tile a shower in a fully immersive virtual environment.
“Over the past several years, we have infused new technologies into the planning and shopping experience and know our customers have benefitted greatly from being able to explore and test home improvement projects in the virtual world before taking the leap to implementation in their real-world homes or job sites,” said Seemantini Godbole, CIO at Lowe’s in a statement. “By entering the metaverse now, we can explore new opportunities to serve, enable and inspire our customers in a way no other home improvement retailer today is doing.”