Home improvement retailer Lowe's announced it will begin helping builders of the metaverse by making more than 500 3D product assets available for download for free via Lowe's Open Builder, a new asset hub.
"We've been at the forefront of building since the beginning, and the metaverse is in a pivotal stage of development," said Marisa Thalberg, Lowe's chief brand and marketing officer. "It's only natural that we would be interested in working alongside and in service of the emerging community of builders creating this new world, with the democratization of possibility in mind. At the same time, we are also very clear on our reason for being – to make homes better for all by helping our customers to create real world value in their homes, in their jobs and in their communities. This will continue to be our North Star in the metaverse."
The efforts are born of a vision for the future in which Lowe's sees both virtual and augmented worlds playing a role in its customers' everyday lives. While this is the company's first step into the metaverse, Lowe's has been using emerging technology to help customers gain inspiration and more easily visualize and plan their home improvement projects for years. Offerings like the recently launched Measure Your Space, which uses LiDAR to sense depth and map dimensions of a space, and Holoroom How To, which was one of the first home improvement virtual reality clinics and taught customers how to tile a shower in a fully immersive virtual environment, are prime examples. Through its intentional experimentation and focus on delivering what customers need, Lowe's is uniquely positioned to leverage emerging technology to help people imagine the possibilities.
"Over the past several years, we have infused new technologies into the planning and shopping experience and know our customers have benefitted greatly from being able to explore and test home improvement projects in the virtual world before taking the leap to implementation in their real-world homes or job sites," said Seemantini Godbole, chief information officer of Lowe's. "By entering the metaverse now, we can explore new opportunities to serve, enable and inspire our customers in a way no other home improvement retailer today is doing."
3D assets that will be available include such items as lighting, patio furniture, area rugs, kitchen and bath accessories, and décor accents and will be usable across metaverse and non-metaverse environments, such as gaming, augmented reality and creative design. Assets could be leveraged by metaverse builders making virtual land, homes, goods and experiences for a myriad of decentralized communities.
As part of the promotion, Lowe's will also release a limited NFT wearable collection for builders in Decentraland, a virtual destination for digital assets, to the first 1,000 participants starting to outfit their avatars in boots, hardhats, and other accessories. The NFTs will be accessible via a free airdrop to users who have linked a MetaMask wallet.