Lowe's takes a leap into virtual reality

Lowe's is taking a big step into the future with the launch of the Lowe's Holoroom, a life-size, 20-ft.-by-20-ft. virtual room that uses augmented reality and 3-D technology to create simulations of home interiors.

“We know that for many homeowners, the struggle to visualize a completed home improvement project or to share that vision with others can stop a project in its tracks,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “The Holoroom is our solution, enabling consumers to visualize their project and share that vision with family and friends.”

Basically, the way it works is that customers can select a collection of products, step into the Holoroom, and change up the room design as they see fit. They can also create a take-home printout in order to view a 3-D model of the room at home, as well as share the room through a free mobile app.

The Holoroom is the first export of Lowe's Innovation Labs, a technology incubator of sorts that draws on the expertise of start-ups, universities, various experts and other companies. For one, innovation consultancy SciFutures had a hand in helping create the Holoroom.

The Holoroom will debut in select Toronto stores this year, beginning with a collection of bathroom products. Customers will be able to choose from additional product categories and rooms as they're added over the next year or so.