March 18, 2016 8:00 am

Microsoft HoloLens and Lowe’s, working to redefine your next home renovation

By / General Manager, Microsoft HoloLens

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Microsoft HoloLens and home improvement company, Lowe’s are partnering in an effort to redefine how people think about home renovation – starting with the kitchen.

Hologram experience at Lowe's.

Lowe’s has a long history of helping people reinvent spaces, quite literally, from the ground up. And home improvement is an incredibly visual undertaking. It can be difficult to conceptualize a full-scale remodel using just sample squares and paint swatches. We were excited to partner with Lowe’s to help reinvent visualization and design in a whole new way, using holograms.

Using HoloLens, Lowe’s is providing customers in select pilot stores with a new way to experience home improvement. Lowe’s is using HoloLens to demonstrate a variety of design options for kitchen cabinetry, countertops, appliances and features like backsplashes, in a visually-rich and interactive way. Lowe’s customers will be able to experience a holographic representation of a completely new kitchen, adjust finishes and options instantly, and share their designs easily online.

Now people can view, in life-like realism, large items like cabinets, appliances and countertops in size and scale with incredibly high-definition options and detailed finishes. The holographic details are rich and allow users to even see the differences between shiny chrome appliances versus matte brushed aluminum options. 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. This mixed reality solution was important, so that customers can remain within the physical kitchenette and view options and adjustments to that existing physical space, alongside physical options, in the form of holograms. A miniature hologram kitchen allows for a bird’s eye perspective of the kitchen.

For Lowe’s, it brings customers a new way to experience full-scale design and appliance options while maximizing precious floor space in the store.

Lowe’s can quickly and affordably show an array of options that can be digitally refreshed with far less impact than what it would take to replace tile or cabinetry samples. In-store designers, spouses or friends can view what the customer is seeing – and changing in real time – through a hand-held Surface tablet.

Not a distant future: It all starts here and now

This implementation is a new, innovative way that Lowe’s is enhancing the customer experience. This month, Lowe’s is piloting its HoloLens-powered kitchen remodel demonstration in-store, in the greater Seattle area. From there, Lowe’s will begin piloting in-store in Raleigh, North Carolina, not far from its headquarters. Customers will be able to rethink home renovation using the power of holograms.

Whereas kitchens and showrooms are just the beginning, we imagine that a solution like this would be an ideal way to view renovation options in individual homes. In the same way that people often place tape or cardboard outlines of new furniture in their living rooms to properly assess size and scale relative to physical options – imagine a more high-quality, easily modifiable replacement to that task, powered by holograms. Imagine a view of your custom kitchen, within your existing kitchen space or reviewing options for a brand new dining room table and chairs without ever leaving home.

As a reminder, we announced last month that the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition begins shipping on March 30th of this year. Developers can apply to purchase a device at www.hololens.com/developmentedition. Interested commercial customers can learn more about HoloLens on our website, and should connect with their Microsoft account representative for more information on volume ordering and the many ways holograms can change the way companies do business today.