Lowe's Holoroom is a "home improvement simulator" that uses augmented reality to help customers visualize what a renovated space might look like. CNBC reports that users begin by first recreating an area in their home before adding items like flooring and countertops. They can then enter the Holoroom and use an iPad as a virtual lens, through which the bare environment is transformed into a 3D model of their design. The technology allows people to move through the room, zoom in on details, change furnishings, and fully explore their virtual surroundings.
The project results from a collaborative effort between Lowe's Innovation Labs and SciFutures, an unorthodox technology firm that used "science fiction narratives" to help bring the concept to life. Holoroom will debut in two Toronto stores later this year, according to CNBC. While customers will initially be restricted to bathroom fixtures, there are plans to add more categories over the next 12 to 18 months. Lowe's Innovations Labs' executive director Kyle Nel says it may even be possible to utilize Holoroom in homes sometime in the very near future. The company joins a growing number of retailers that are using technology in unconventional ways to attract and assist customers. Last year, for example, Swedish furniture giant Ikea revealed an augmented-reality app that allowed users to superimpose virtual furnishings over real-world environments.