A003 / Future Stores

In-Store Navigation

  • 2017
  • AR
  • Spatial Computing
African-American family in a Lowes Home Improvement store using in-store navigation to find what they need.

Future Stores

Finding what you need, faster

For nearly a decade, Lowe’s Innovation Labs has been exploring ways to enhance our customers' shopping experience within our stores.

Back in 2017, we pioneered the use of Google’s depth-sensing Tango hardware and software to build an augmented reality application designed to make in-store navigation easier.

African-American family in a Lowes Home Improvement store using in-store navigation to find what they need.

What it is

Lowe’s Vision: In-Store Navigation was a proof-of-concept launched in 2017 to help customers quickly find products in stores through indoor maps and depth-sensing.

In-store GPS

Lowe's Vision: In-Store Navigation leveraged motion tracking, area learning and depth perception to guide customers through the store using a mixed reality interface.

The application, a first of its kind for retail, was built in partnership with Google's augmented reality technology Tango.

In 2017, customers who visited stores in Sunnyvale, California and Lynwood, Washington could use Tango-enabled smartphones to easily search for products, add them to a shopping list and locate the product within the store using augmented reality.  

In-app view of Lowe's In-Store Navigation locating a lamp for a customer.

When a customer came in to Lowe's to get started on a project, they could use any Tango-enabled smartphone to create a list of their required items in the app and access product reviews and information to make an informed decision.

From there, directional prompts overlaid onto the real-world setting guide the customer to each item using the most efficient route around the store.  

African-American family in a Lowes Home Improvement store aisle using in-store navigation.

In March 2018, Google discontinued its Tango service in favor of AR Core, which brought stable single-camera augmented reality to most Android devices. While our work on this project ended alongside Tango, it was a step on our journey to bringing spatial commerce capabilities to customers, ranging from View in Your Space to Measure Your Space, and informed our approach to our store digital twin.