Have you ever wondered what that new appliance or tile will look like in your kitchen? Well, soon you can try it out in a virtual kitchen with virtual design elements. Thanks to a partnership between Microsoft’s HoloLens and Lowe’s home improvement stores, customers will soon be able to use the headset to visualize redesigns of their kitchens in the showroom.
That way, if you don’t like the look of your new black fridge, you can swap it out for stainless steel or what have you. It takes the pain out of buying something you don’t like and having to schlep it back to the store to return it. It’s an interesting, introductory use case for augmented reality devices like the HoloLens that may resonate with your average customer and not just tech geeks.
The new project will start later this month at the Lynwood, WA location, and will include a mock-up of a bare kitchen. You’ll be able to select from different features like appliances, tiles, and countertops, seeing them at scale. Not only that, but according to Microsoft, the holographic images will be high enough quality to see how reflective or matte different components are. After designing the kitchen, you’ll also be able to share the designs online, so you can go home and keep thinking about the design elements.
“From within the nearly empty square frame of a showroom kitchen, customers can completely change the look and feel of that space – including adjusting the size and shape of an island, and viewing virtual design options against physical counter stools,” said Scott Erickson, general manager of HoloLens at Microsoft, in a blog post.
The HoloLens will only be available at select stores, and it will only be for internal testing at first. However, customers will soon be able to take advantage of the AR features. Microsoft will also expand beyond Seattle, and the next stop is set to be Raleigh, North Carolina, which is where the Lowe’s headquarters is.