My dad’s a general contractor and I grew up watching him virtually remodel homes with low-budget computer software. That digital home looked nothing like the actual house he was working on, but it was easier to convince a client to go with his estimate if he could provide a bit of a preview of what the end result would look like.
That’s why I was interested in the Lowe’s Holoroom, which comes from Lowe’s Innovation Labs—yes, the same place you buy your grout and baseboards also has an incubator of sorts. The Holoroom, which is powered by Marxent Labs, is not exactly revolutionary in terms of virtual reality, but it leverages existing technology in a way that will help the common consumer. After all, if you’re spending thousands of dollars to remodel your home, you want it done right the first time around.
The Holoroom is a bit limiting for now. You can only design kitchens or bathrooms, for instance, and you can’t walk through the virtual room or pick up items. Overall, It’s meant more as a source of inspiration as you visualize what you want your house to look like.
Lowe’s uses the Oculus Rift for the Holoroom, though each project can be exported to YouTube 360 so that you can take it home and view it with Google Cardboard. The Holoroom is only available in Colorado and Ohio for now, but it will continue to expand among Lowe’s stores in the U.S. throughout the year.