MOORESVILLE – Lowe’s will release a new end-to-end technology product within its mobile app on the latest iOS devices equipped with a LiDAR sensor, with the goal of simplifying do-it-yourself home projects.
LiDAR is definied as a detection system which works on the principle of radar, but uses light from a laser, according to Oxford Languages.
“We can all agree, home improvement can be really complex,” Joshua Shabtai, senior director, ecosystem, at Lowe’s Innovation Labs, a part of Lowe’s, told WRAL TechWire in an interview this week. “It generally can’t move forward without more information.”
That’s where the company’s new product will assist, said Shabtai.
Measure Your Space is “an intuitive, end-to-end room scanning, measurement and estimate experience in the Lowe’s iOS app,” the company noted in a statement.
The technology product, built within the existing Lowe’s iOS application, will allow for an end-to-end experience for people interested in gaining relevant information about one particular use case: flooring.
The application uses the latest technology equipped to certain Apple products: its LiDAR sensor.
LiDAR, which stands for “light detection and ranging,” is used to measure elevation and distances, across a variety of applications. The application built by Shabtai’s team uses the sensor, which is now equipped on Apple iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro devices, to scan and measure room dimensions.
Once scanned and measured, the application can tap Lowe’s product lines and existing database, to provide a user an estimate of completing a DIY project.
Shabtai noted that the new beta application that utilizes the LiDAR sensor is just the beginning for possible use cases.
“LiDAR used to be for really expensive use cases,” said Shabtai. “Self-driving cars, robots that need LiDAR sight to navigate,” he said.
But that’s changed, now, said Shabtai.
“Apple has built a specialized sensor that is compact enough to fit inside the front-facing sensor in the camera on the iPhone,” said Shabtai. “More accuracy than ever before.”
Hardware, or the sensor equipped to these mobile devices, continues to improve, said Shabtai. But so does software, that can use the hardware sensors to process that information, noted Shabtai. That’s the future of mobile technology for anyone that works to complete home projects, whether simple DIY fixture installations, flooring installation, kitchen cabinet installation, or something larger, like an entire backyard deck and patio remodel, suggested Shabtai.
But there are still challenges that technology can’t address, alone. Or could it?
Because one of the primary challenges in any home improvement project is a need of information, including dimensions and spatial relationships, but also the specific objectives of the project and how it may disrupt or enable actions, activities, routines, or more, within a household, Lowe’s is focused on providing value-added experiences, all within its mobile application, said Shabtai.
Think of it this way, Shabtai noted: it’s really difficult to agree on how to move a project forward when you don’t have all the information available, especially the information that is within a collaborator’s minds eye.
Lowe’s aims to change that, starting with this product.
“We envision a future where people have all the access to data about their space, in one place,” said Shabtai. “We at Lowe’s want to bring the first to bring that to customers all around the country.”
Shabtai calls this “spatial commerce,” and noted that Lowe’s intends to broaden the scope of this effort far beyond flooring estimates.
It starts with the Measure Your SpaceBETA, said Shabtai, “in which our customers can take their device, and in a matter of minutes, can scan and capture a detailed floor plan, that enables them to shop available options, get estimates, and make a decision about how to improve their home.”
The product will be available within the Lowe’s application in early 2022, said Shabtai.