Lowe’s new Holoroom lets you try out home improvements virtually before you buy

Thanks to augmented reality, it’s already possible to fill a room with virtual furniture, or even test a different paint color on your walls without ever lifting a brush. But what if you want to see how a new granite countertop would look in your bathroom, try out a new stain on your cabinets, or put some virtual hardwood on your floors? Up until recently these kinds of things weren’t possible, but now, with the help of Lowe’s new Holoroom, you can test-drive a wide range of home improvements virtually before you ever commit to buying anything.

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 10.00.59 AM“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.”

The Holoroom, despite its futuristic name, is basically just an empty space that functions as a blank 3D canvas for you to build your virtual home in using special software. The idea is that you fill it with a computer-generated representation of your home, and then apply different colors, textures, fixtures, and materials from Lowe’s virtual catalog. Then, with the help of an iPad running a special virtual reality application, you can walk around the room to see how everything looks. If you like what you see, you can buy the materials on the spot and head home to install them. If not, you can just dive back into the app and tweak the virtual arrangement until you find the sweet spot.  

Unfortunately, the Holoroom only exists in Lowe’s Innovation Lab in North Carolina right now, but the company does have plans to bring the idea to a number of stores in Canada before the end of the year. In the future, if these virtual home improvement testing rooms catch on, they might be installed in stores all over the globe. 

Find out more here.

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