Lowe's Holoroom in Toronto
Lowe's Holoroom in Toronto

Big-box retailer Lowe's unveiled the "Holoroom," a home improvement simulator that's at least more tangible than Star Trek's holodeck. By viewing their surroundings through a smart tablet, customers can tour the floor plan of their ideal home without actually setting foot inside a showroom.

Users start by entering the dimensions and existing features of the space they want to renovate into the program, which generates a virtual room on the screen of the device. Consumers can then modify the virtual room with all of the products their local Lowe's store may carry. Instead of actually handling fabric swatches and tile samples, homeowners can change their surroundings with the swipe of a finger. To see a new appliance or fixture, users simply choose what product they want and where they want it, and the device simulates its appearance in the room when viewed through the screen.

"The struggle to visualize a completed home improvement project or to share that vision with others can stop a project in its tracks,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s new Innovation Labs effort. “The Holoroom is our solution, enabling consumers to visualize their project and share that vision with family and friends.” Nel demonstrated the technology in a June 11 CBNC video.

Though the program currently only works in the confines of the Holoroom setup, the end goal is to make the device functional in users' own homes as an app. Lowe's will also begin unveiling Holorooms in select stores around the Toronto area later this year.