Reinventing Retail: Lowe’s Partners with NVIDIA and Magic Leap to Create Digital Twins of Interactive Stores

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With tens of millions of weekly transactions across more than 2,000 stores, Lowe’s helps customers achieve their home improvement goals. Today, the Fortune 50 retailer is experimenting with high-tech methods to improve both the associate and customer experience.

using NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise to view and interact with a store’s digital data, Lowe’s is testing digital twins in Mill Creek, Wash. and Charlotte, NC Its ultimate goal is to enable its retail associates to better serve customers, collaborate with each other in new ways, and optimize store operations.

“At Lowe’s, we are always looking for ways to reinvent store operations and remove friction for our customers,” said Seemantini Godbole, executive vice president and chief digital and information officer at Lowe’s. “With NVIDIA Omniverse, we’re bringing data together in a way that has never been possible, empowering our associates with superpowers.”

Restocking in Augmented Reality and ‘X-Ray Vision’

With its interactive digital twin, Lowe’s is exploring a variety of new augmented reality use cases, including reconfiguring layouts, supporting replenishment, real-time collaboration, and what it calls ” x-ray vision.

Wearing a Magic Leap 2 AR headset, store employees can interact with the digital twin. This AR experience helps an associate compare what a store shelf should look like with what it actually looks like, and ensure it’s stocked with the right products in the right configurations.

And it’s not just a solo activity. Field store associates can communicate and collaborate with centralized store planners via AR. For example, if a store associate notices an improvement that could be made to a proposed planogram for their store, they can flag it on the digital twin with an AR “sticky note”.

Finally, one of the benefits of the digital twin and the Magic Leap 2 headset is the ability to explore “x-ray vision”. Traditionally, a store clerk may need to climb a ladder to scan or read small labels on cardboard boxes kept in a store’s upper stock. With an AR headset and the digital twin, the associate can gaze at a partially obscured cardboard box from the ground and, using computer vision and Lowe’s inventory application programming interfaces, “see” what inside via an AR overlay.

Visualization and simulation of store data

The home improvement retail business is a touch business. And when making decisions about how to create a new in-store display, a common way for retailers to see what works is to build a physical prototype, place it in a physical store, and see how customers react. clients.

With NVIDIA Omniverse and AI, Lowe’s is exploring more efficient ways to approach this process.

Just as e-commerce sites collect analytics to optimize customers’ online shopping experience, the digital twin offers new ways to visualize sales performance and customer traffic data to optimize the in-store experience. 3D heatmaps and visual indicators that show the physical distance of frequently purchased items together can help associates bring these items closer together. In a 100,000 square foot location, for example, minimizing the number of steps required to pick up an item is critical.

Using historical order and product location data, Lowe’s can also use NVIDIA Omniverse to simulate what might happen when a store is configured differently. Using AI avatars created in Lowe’s innovation labs, the retailer can simulate the distance customers and associates might have to travel to retrieve items that are often purchased together.

NVIDIA Omniverse makes it possible to run hundreds of simulations in a fraction of the time it takes to build a physical store display, Godbole said.

Expansion in the Metaverse

Lowe’s also announced today at NVIDIA GTC that it will soon be making the more than 600 photorealistic 3D product assets in its home improvement library free for other Omniverse creators to use in their virtual worlds. . All these products will be available in the Description of the universal scene format on which Omniverse is built and can be used in any metaverse created by developers using NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise.

For Lowe’s, the future of home improvement is one in which AI, digital twins and mixed reality play a role in the daily lives of its associates, Godbole said. With NVIDIA Omniverse, the retailer is taking steps to build that future – and there’s plenty more to come as it tests new strategies.

Join a Round table on the GCS Wednesday, September 21, with Cheryl Friedman, Vice President of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, and Mason Sheffield, Senior Director of Creative Technology, who will discuss how Lowe’s is using AI and NVIDIA Omniverse to further enhance the retail experience home improvement retail.

Watch the GTC on-demand keynote to see all the latest NVIDIA announcements, and Register free for the conference – which runs until Thursday 22 September – to explore how digital twins are transforming industries.

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