Growing Trends: Enhanced Reality

Microsoft HoloLens is partnering with Lowe's to incorporate augmented reality technology in remodeling demonstrations

March 31, 2016
Microsoft HoloLens partners with Lowe's to incorporate augmented reality technology in remodeling demonstrations.

Photo: courtesy Lowe's Home Improvement

The use of augmented reality (AR) is a growing trend in the remodeling industry, with several software applications available to remodelers today. Recently, a newcomer joined the group—Microsoft HoloLens is the first holographic computer to be introduced in a Lowe’s location. Stores in Seattle and in Raleigh, N.C., will feature the technology that allows customers to experience a kitchen remodeling demonstration.

Visitors to Lowe’s will be able to use the HoloLens to walk through an enhanced experience of home improvement in a new and interactive way, according to an online post from Microsoft HoloLens general manager Scott Erickson. Lowe’s will be demonstrating a wide range of design options for products such as kitchen cabinetry, countertops, and appliances.

The technology will allow users to observe virtual design options against physical ones in the showroom space, by changing the layout of various components.

Though it’s good news for remodelers that a large company like Microsoft is getting involved in the home improvement sphere, it’s not the only company dabbling in enhanced reality technology for remodeling purposes. Chief Architect, a leading developer of 3-D design software, creates augmented reality tools such as the Room Planner app. This allows remodelers to take measurements and create realistic floor plans from a mobile device. “Room Planner is the basic tool for remodelers to get measurements,” says Scott Harris, vice president of sales and marketing at Chief Architect. “The 3-D viewer allows somebody to experience the design before it’s built.” The company plans to launch a new 3-D viewer later this year to accompany the app.

Microsoft HoloLens and Chief Architect Room Planner are among the new tech tools available, or coming soon, that will allow homeowners to visualize a lifelike design before the project begins. 

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