Lowe's continues making advances in retail innovation with its new Innovation Labs and the first concept to come out of the lab — the Lowe's Holoroom.
Lowe's created the lab to build new technology to solve common consumer frustrations while working alongside startups, universities, specialized professionals and other companies.
"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 Lowe's Holoroom is a home improvement simulator that gives homeowners an immersive experience inside a room via 3-D and augmented reality technologies. They can fill the room with products and change things around until they are satisfied with the results. They can then take home a printout or view a 3-D model of the room — which they can share with others — with a free app available on iOS or Droid devices.
"Lowe's wants to lead innovation by developing disruptive technologies that will help us establish a long-term competitive advantage," said Nel. "Lowe's Innovation Labs will allow us to quickly bring in new technology and new partners, explore a wide range of possibilities and identify opportunities to develop concepts like the Holoroom."
SciFutures, a foresight and innovation consultancy, partnered with Lowe's during the development of the Holoroom.
"We use the power of science fiction narratives to predict future possibilities and explain complex technologies in a way everyone can understand," said Ari Popper, founder and co-CEO of SciFutures. "Using this science fiction prototyping process we collaborated with Lowe's to see the world could look like, and their determination to bring that vision to life led to the Holoroom."
The Lowe's Holoroom will be introduced in select Toronto stores in 2014, and equipped with thousands of products to help customers plan a bathroom remodel. Additional product categories and rooms will be added to the Holoroom in the next 12 to 18 months. Lowe's Innovation Labs will share updates on the Lowe's Holoroom as well as future initiatives on Twitter.