Lowe’s launches new service for contractors to make home visits — virtually

Lowe’s is expanding its focus on professional customers with an augmented reality tool that makes it easier for plumbers and other contractors to troubleshoot problems with homeowners — without an initial visit.

The home improvement giant announced the launch of Lowe’s for Pros JobSight, an augmented video chat service that allows plumbers, contractors and other professionals (“pros”) to conduct virtual home visits with customers. The service, powered by augmented video chat service Streem, combines video, computer vision and augmented reality capabilities to help pros evaluate repair and maintenance projects. It gives them the ability to video chat with customers, troubleshoot, detect serial numbers and product details and review a one-page summary to address follow-up needs – all without being in the customer's home.

Here’s how it works: A plumber or other pro sends a customer a text message with a link to the video chat. The customer clicks the link, which opens in a mobile browser.  Pros can use the on-screen laser pointer and AR quick-draw tools to guide customers through a virtual consultation, and in some cases, even help the customer complete a repair themselves. After a session, pros can review a shareable one-page summary, including full video and audio, hi-res photos and notes to address follow-up needs. The experience works entirely through a mobile web browser – no app download required – and is compatible with most modern iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

"We rely on Pros now more than ever to keep our homes and businesses safely up and running, which is why we are working hard to build new ways to keep Pros working and to be the new home for Pros both now and into the future," said Fred Stokes, senior VP of pro sales and services for Lowe's. "Today's announcement with Streem is just the first of many ways we will provide pros new and innovative options to connect with their customers while social distancing.”

Lowe's for Pros JobSight is available for free to members of Lowe's Pros Loyalty Program members, June 1 through Oct 31. During this time, pros can also save five percent off every day on eligible purchases plus zero interest for 60 days when using their Lowe's business account or extended terms when using their Lowe's accounts receivable. This announcement builds on previous efforts to support pros, including a dedicated shopping hour from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m., curbside loading, delivery to pro jobsites, and small business grants.

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