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Brief Published: 22 Mar 2017

Lowe’s Haptic-VR DIY Skills Clinic

Surpassing its 2014 in-store augmented reality simulator, Lowe's Innovation Labs – the internal tech hub of US home improvement retailer Lowe's – has launched a new concept that guides shoppers through DIY projects using virtual reality (VR) and haptic technologies. 

Dubbed Holoroom How To, the highly immersive concept has evolved from a pre-purchase visualisation tool, showing consumers how a product would look in their homes, into a programme grounded in learning key skills.

Visitors wear a VR headset to watch a DIY tutorial chosen from a menu of options, subsequently following instructions displayed in front of them by using a hand controller to mimic gestures such as painting a fence or tiling a wall. Adding realism to each task, the in-built haptic tech issues life-like vibrations such as drill movements.

Lowe's was inspired to create the concept based on its own research revealing many consumers lack the confidence and skills to embark on DIY projects, despite wanting to get involved. According to the retailer, those using the tool have a 36% better recall of the task than those watching a regular video tutorial online.

For more on the skills economy and the value of brands becoming enablers, see Active Flagships and the section Service Commerce in Retail Week Live, 2017. See also New-Gen Home Improvement Parts 1 and 2, Virtual Added Value (part of our New-Era Luxury Macro Trend), Interiors Retailing Online and Here Come the Homebodies.

See also Lowe's Unveils AI Robot Concierge.