Mobile

Google Glass: Coming soon to a Lowe’s near you?

Sean Bartlett, left, director of digital experience for product and omni-channel integration at Lowe's, speaks at VentureBeat's Mobile Summit in Sausalito, Calif., on April 15.

Above: Sean Bartlett, left, director of digital experience for product and omni-channel integration at Lowe's, speaks at VentureBeat's Mobile Summit in Sausalito, Calif., on April 15.

SAUSALITO, Calif. — Lowe’s, the home improvement retailer, is looking toward the future of wearable customer service, invisible technology, and AI-enhanced customer service.

But for now, the company wants consumers and employees alike to love using its mobile applications.

It went so far as to provide 42,000 iPhones to store associates with an eye toward making them more effective and pulling them away from stodgy green screens on terminals.

“One of the guiding principles with that rollout was to put the same user experience and design rigor around that experience that we would for our consumer portfolio,” Sean Bartlett, Lowe’s director of digital experience, product, and omni-channel integration, said at VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit conference today.

That includes making sure applications don’t take up too much room on phones, limiting applications to 10 MB rather than going upward of, say 60 MB, Bartlett said. The strategy also entails sticking with early calls like not using HTML5 for native applications, he said.

Especially on the consumer-facing Lowe’s app, Bartlett said, everything is designed to optimize for the best possible user experience.

“We’ve always been of the mindset that commerce is a byproduct of a great experience,” he said.

And the company isn’t going to stick to its current position. It’s always evaluating emerging technologies, perhaps including wearables like Google Glass and Oculus VR, which Facebook just bought.

“We definitely take a look at everything that’s on the market in a meaningful way to determine where it fits,” Bartlett said.


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