MOORESVILLE, N.C., March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Lowe's introduces Holoroom How To, an on-demand virtual reality skills clinic and the latest iteration of Lowe's Innovation Labs' Holoroom experience, their immersive design and visualization tool. Debuting at select store locations in Boston and Canada, the simulated experience explores the relationship between virtual reality technology and engagement and retention in learning. Lowe's is the first retailer to apply AR and VR technology beyond design assistance to address the evolution of home improvement learning and skills.
In 2014, Lowe's utilized its narrative-driven approach to introduce its first storytelling concept using augmented reality to solve customer challenges faced with design – today, the company is writing the next chapter.
"During the past three years, we have been exploring real-life applications of augmented and virtual reality experiences to directly help our customers solve everyday problems," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe's Innovation Labs, the company's disruptive innovation hub. "Our experience has shown that customers are embracing AR/VR as part of their home improvement journey, and now, we are using immersive VR to help our customers learn the required skills to complete challenging home improvement projects."
Lowe's research shows that not all customers have the confidence or skills needed to confidently embark on a do-it-yourself (DIY) project. The Holoroom How To experience provides a more effective training tool so customers can learn DIY on their own terms. When users put on the virtual reality headset and hold the controller in each hand, they will be immersed in a DIY project – such as tiling a shower – and given step-by-step instructions to complete the task. From mixing the mortar to laying the pattern, the simulation walks the user through each step of the process. Haptic feedback, such as feeling the vibration of a drill through the controller, adds to the life-like experience, without the waste or mess of testing a DIY project in the real world. Initial testing of the technology has not only proven an increase in recall, but also that training through VR using Holoroom How To boosts customer confidence and enhances motivation to take on DIY projects.
Over the course of several months, Lowe's will evaluate customer response to this experience, gauging how this technology impacts customer learning and confidence. From this pilot, Lowe's will learn how innovations like Holoroom How To will enable instantaneous learning moments and massively scalable training opportunities that empower both customers and employees around the world.
The Holoroom How To proof-of-concept is currently live at Lowe's in Framingham, Massachusetts, and over the course of the next several weeks, launching in Lowe's in Burlington, Canada and RONA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lowe's Big Box, in Beloeil, Québec.
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2016 sales of $65.0 billion, Lowe's and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,375 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 290,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
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SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.