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Microsoft bringing HoloLens headset to Lowe’s to visualize kitchen renovations

If you’ve ever remodeled a room in your house, or even just tried to pick out a new paint color, you know how hard it can be to make sure everything looks good before getting to work. But a virtual showroom could make it easier to visualize your next remodel before you pick up the paintbrush.

Soon, visitors to select Lowe’s locations will be able don Microsoft’s HoloLens headset to see how finishes, paint color and fixtures will look together before actually embarking on a remodel, starting with a virtual kitchen.

The augmented reality experience aims to replace the current procedure of taking paint swatches and sample squares around a store to get a sense for how your future kitchen will look.

“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,” HoloLens general manager Scott Erickson said in a blog post. “The holographic details are rich and allow users to even see the differences between shiny chrome appliances versus matte brushed aluminum options.”

This isn’t the first virtual showroom Microsoft has worked on. The company is working with Volvo on using the HoloLens to let car buyers see how upgrades will look sometime this year.

While developers will be able to get their hands on the pre-production model at the end of the month, these showroom experiences may be the first chance everyday consumers get to try the augmented reality headset.

Microsoft has focused on the commercial applications of the HoloLens so far, using a trip to the International Space Station to show off how Skype can help workers learn to complete new tasks and early demos focused on the HoloLens’ use in office and work environments.

The augmented reality kitchen demos are rolling out later this month at select Lowe’s stores in the Seattle areaMicrosoft and Lowe’s will also start testing the project at stores Raleigh, N.C., near the home-improvement giant’s headquarters.
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