Lowes Will Put HoloLens in Hands of Consumers for the First Time

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Lowes Will Put HoloLens in Hands of Consumers for the First Time

While we still believe that a consumer HoloLens release is years away, a new partnership with Lowes could be an interesting first step. The home improvement chain is going to feature HoloLens in some of its Seattle-area stores, letting customers use the device to help design kitchen remodels.

“Select Lowe’s stores in the greater Seattle area will pilot HoloLens in store, allowing customers to customize a showroom kitchen with holographic representations of cabinets, appliances, countertops and more,” a Microsoft representative told me. “This partnership enables Lowes to quickly and affordably demonstrate highly customizable design options and provide customers with a sense of real-world scale.”

The “Seattle area” bit is not coincidental: Due to the hands-on training and support requirements of HoloLens, especially this early in the process, Microsoft no doubt wants to keep this very public demonstration oft the new technology close to home. I am very curious to see what normal people think of HoloLens, both for its amazing mixed reality capabilities and of course that narrow and small field of view.

“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 Microsoft announcementnotes. “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.”

The Lowes in-store pilot demonstrations start this month, Microsoft says. And it will spread later to other Lowes locations in Raleigh, North Carolina, which not coincidentally is near Lowes’ home base.

“Customers will be able to rethink home renovation using the power of holograms,” Microsoft says. Honestly, this is a very cool use of this technology.

 

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