We’ve speculated for some time about the possibilities of having a lidar in every pocket, and when Apple devices made that a reality, the potential use cases have gone beyond surveying to myriad other industries and verticals.
Case in point – Lowe’s Home Improvement, a major US home improvement store, has announced that they plan to launch Measure Your Space, a room scanning, measurement and estimating tool within its iOS app. The new functionality (currently in beta) provides a glimpse into Lowe’s vision for “spatial commerce” where emerging technologies such as lidar and augmented reality can put information into their customer’s hands, making home improvement accessible from their own devices.
"Home improvement can be complex, but at Lowe's, we're investing in emerging technologies like LiDAR, AI and mixed reality to make home improvement simple and intuitive," said Seemantini Godbole, Lowe's executive vice president and chief information officer.
"We see a future in which the devices customers already own can sense, understand and compile information about their home, putting it in their hands the moment they need it. We call this future spatial commerce, and we're excited to bring it to our customers."
Lowe's new spatial commerce experience will leverage the lidar and depth mapping technology found in some iPhone and iPad models to get detailed room measurements. Lowe's customers will be able to access the feature simply by pressing the Measure Your Space button on the product detail page of select flooring products in the Lowe's iOS app. The app will guide them to scan a room, automatically generating a floor plan, room measurements and a personalized estimate. They will be able to access this information in their app from anywhere, whether that's on their couch or in a store.
Lowe’s has decided to integreate this new ability into their existing home improvement app, which the company reports has seen a 35% increase in use this year.
Measure Your Space is being developed by Lowe's Innovation Labs, Lowe's innovation hub focused on building experiences that will shape the future of home improvement, and Streem®, an AR and AI company whose mission is to make the world's expertise more accessible. This offering follows Lowe's for Pros JobSIGHT™ powered by Streem, an augmented video chat service launched last year in the midst of the pandemic to allow Pros to conduct virtual home visits with customers.
"Lowe's and Streem together are applying the use of complex augmented reality tools to create a simple, user-friendly app experience with the unique ability to make DIYers' lives easier," said Ryan Fink, Streem president and co-founder.
"This partnership is proving the value of spatial commerce today by using guided AR and AI experiences to empower consumers with the practical tools and data they need to dream, plan and accomplish home projects."
Measure Your Space will be available before the end of Q1 2022 in the form of a commercial beta launch available to iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max and iPad Pro users via the Lowe's iOS app.
Lowe's new offering starts with flooring, one of the most popular home improvement projects, with an estimated 4.9 million homeowners tackling flooring, carpeting, paneling or ceiling tile projects in a year. Over time, the intent is to expand the experience to include other features, such as the ability to visualize flooring changes in real-time, with the potential to incorporate other product categories and expand to additional smartphones and devices.