BOUCHERVILLE, QC – Lowe's Canada has introduced Holoroom How To, an on-demand virtual reality skills clinic and the latest iteration of Lowe's Innovation Labs' Holoroom experience, the company’s immersive design and visualization tool.
Debuting this month in a Lowe's store in Burlington, Ontario, and soon in a RONA store in Beloeil, Québec, the simulated experience explores the relationship between virtual reality technology, engagement and retention in learning. The Holoroom How To proof-of-concept made its first appearance at a Lowe's store in Framingham, Massachusetts (in the Boston area). Lowe's is the first retailer to apply augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology beyond design assistance to address the evolution of home improvement learning and skills.
"We are excited to be a partner of Lowe's Innovation Labs and to make the Holoroom How To experience available to our Canadian customers, as it clearly illustrates how innovation can enable us to go one step further in supporting and inspiring our customers in their renovation projects," mentioned Claire Bara, vice-president, Strategy and Business Insights for Lowe's Canada. "The Canadian market represents a great platform for the Lowe's Innovation Labs to test some exciting new projects. With its diverse portfolio of brands and store formats, Lowe's Canada offers many varied opportunities for learning," said Claire Bara.
"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."
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.