Did you know that Lowe's, the home improvement retailer, has innovation labs? See the video above. "Lowe’s created Lowe’s Innovation Labs to build new technology to solve common consumer frustrations while working alongside start-ups, universities, specialized professionals and other companies." Warc.com reports that "To share its learnings and draw on those of others, the Innovation Labs belongs to a "consortium" of non-competing organisations, ranging from quick-service chain Chick-fil-A to the World Bank."
The first concept to come out of the lab is the Lowe’s Holoroom, "a home improvement simulator which applies 3-D and augmented reality technologies to provide homeowners an intuitive, immersive experience in the room of their dreams." The customer chooses their products from Lowe's and then, experiences them in the Holoroom. Next, they can make changes, finalize their plans, and get a printout to take home. A free app will allow the customer to share the plans with family and friends.
Lowe’s partnered with SciFutures, a foresight and innovation consultancy, during the development of the Holoroom. Ari Popper, founder and co-CEO of SciFutures, said, “We use the power of science fiction narratives to predict future possibilities and explain complex technologies in a way everyone can understand. Using this science fiction prototyping process we collaborated with Lowe’s to see the world could look like, and their determination to bring that vision to life led to the Holoroom.” Kyle Nel, executive director of the labs, told Advertising Week, "A lot of companies have outside spaces, but we approach it in a different way, through science-fiction prototyping. You take all of your market research, all of your trend data and hire professional science-fiction writers. And they write real stories with conflict and resolution and characters. We turned it into a comic book and created possible stories or visions of the future."
What do you think about giving homeowners the ability to envision remodeling projects with augmented reality?
How can augmented reality satisfy consumer needs and wants?