15 Apr 2022 | Mike Boland
AWE Talks: Creating 'Augmented Associates' for Retail
Augmented Reality

Welcome back to AWE Talks, our series that plucks the greatest hits from the vast AWE conference archive. We still have a treasure trove of untapped session footage from AWE USA 2021 to draw upon. And 2022's show will already be here in June. 

For this week's talk, we spotlight Lowes' Innovation Labs. It continues to integrate various flavors of AR including its "Spatial Commerce" initiative and its "Augmented Associates" for in-store superpowers. Lowes' Mason Sheffield breaks it down for us... 

– Of all the venues for AR, our homes are the most meaningful and personal.
– That principle has been amplified in the Covid-era and post-Covid WFH era.
– This premise drives Lowes Innovation Labs' many AR (and non-AR) initiatives.
– These include its work with Streem to enable spatially-accurate floor measurements.
– The process itself involves scanning one's floor with the Lowes app.
– This automates flooring measurements to have on hand throughout a project.
– It replaces the manual and mistake-prone process we all previously used.
– Having precise measurements pays off when shopping in a Lowes store for example.
– Here, it's important to have simple and gamified experiences, says Sheffield.
– Lowes specifically lets users scan by "painting" the unscanned area of floor.
– This type of object-oriented UX is critical for a mass-market audience.
– The next step is moving beyond flooring to entire rooms for broader projects.
– All of the above is what Lowes calls "spatial commerce," and it continues to evolve.
– Beyond spatial commerce, it's separately working on the "augmented associate."
– This helps store associates do things like stock shelves and "reset" store displays.
– Through line-of-sight overlays, they can see the proper placement of products. 
– It involves Magic Leap headsets and Unity software to guide associates visually.
– Instructions can be altered on the fly for store layout variations or seasonal shifts. 
– This has been embraced by associates in pilot rollouts due to a better experience.
– Beyond greater operational efficiency, associates appreciate lessened mental strain. 
– Next up for Lowes is its "Project Lifecycle" initiative to simulate store interactions.
– This involves dynamic digital twins for real-life conditions to optimize physical stores.

See the full video below along with quick-hit takeaways.

  Want more XR insights and multimedia? ARtillery Intelligence offers an indexed and searchable library of XR intelligence known as ARtillery Pro. See more here.  


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