Lowe’s is optimizing its operations by allowing store associates to interact with its store’s digital data through a digital twin: a completely virtual replica of the physical home improvement store.
The technology runs on NVIDIA’s Omniverse Enterprise platform, fusing spatial data with Lowe’s other data — like product location and historical order information — to pull together a complete digital picture accessible via a range of devices like desktop computers, augmented reality headsets, and more.
The digital twin was built by Lowe's Innovation Labs team and is currently live in two stores.
"We're thrilled to pioneer retail digital twins and elevate experiences for both our associates and customers," said Seemantini Godbole, Lowe's executive vice president, chief digital and information officer, in a statement. "Through emerging technology, we are always imagining and testing ways to improve store operations and remove friction for our customers."
What This Means
While the technology is still new, Lowe’s is exploring several ways to implement its digital twin, including across restocking, obtaining valuable shelf insights, and optimizing the customer experience.
AR Reset and Restocking Support: By wearing an augmented reality headset, Lowe's associates can see a hologram of the digital twin overlaid atop the physical store. Through this, they can ensure shelves are stocked with the right products and in the right configuration. They can see what a store shelf should look like compared to what it actually looks like.
AR "X-Ray Vision": Using this technology, associates can gather and view information for items on hard to reach shelves. Instead of requiring associates to climb a ladder to see a cardboard-enclosed product on the top shelf, they can use an AR headset and computer vision to view and analyze its content.
AR Collaboration: With an AR headset, associates can update the digital twin and collaborate with centralized store planners. For example, they could suggest changes to a planned planogram for their store via an AR "sticky note."
Store Visualization and Optimization: Associates can also view sales performance and track customer traffic using 3D heatmaps and distance measurements for items that are frequently purchased together.
Historical Data: By leveraging Omniverse and Lowe’s Inovation-Labs created AI avatars, Lowe’s can simulate how far customers or associates will need to walk to pick up items that are often purchased together. This will also help associates test changes to placement for products across the store to improve the overall customer experience.