What's In Store

Lowe’s launches a high-tech way to help shoppers navigate stores

Lowe’s Vision mobile app
Lowe’s Vision mobile app Courtesy of Lowe’s Cos.

Mooresville-based Lowe’s is launching an augmented reality tool in some of its locations next month that loads customers’ shopping lists, then guides them through the store to find each item they need.

But the tool – called Lowe’s Vision – won’t be available at Charlotte-area markets just yet. In a statement Thursday, the retailer said the tool will be available via mobile app at Lowe’s stores in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Lynwood, Wash.

Lowe’s said the tool will help customers find what they’re looking for, and it will free up the time of store employees, who can instead focus on explaining home-improvement products to shoppers.

The app is powered by Google’s augmented reality technology Tango, which enables motion tracking. Lowe’s said it uses depth perception to guide customers through the store. The company also said the tool is “the first retail application of indoor mapping using augmented reality.”

Lowe’s spokeswoman Jackie Pardini Hartzell said the company does not have any immediate plans to launch the tool in stores in the Carolinas.

“Our research shows that helping make it easier for customers to find products in stores not only makes for a better shopping experience, it allows our associates to spend more time advising on home improvement projects,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs.

The tool is the latest of many high-tech investments Lowe’s has made. The retailer, for example, launched a 3-D printer into space last year. Lowe’s also debuted a robotic sales associate called OSHBot in a San Jose, Calif., store in 2014.