🗣 Lowe’s is one of the largest home improvement retailers in the United States. They operate more than 1,800 stores in the US and Canada and serve over 18 million customers a week.
The Lowe’s kitchen project was a major initiative for the company, which involved renovating over 1,000 kitchens across North America. The team was tasked with creating an immersive digital experience that would help customers visualize their new kitchen before they bought it.
The team created an interactive 3D digital environment that allowed customers to explore their new kitchen before making a purchase. Customers could walk around every inch of their new kitchen, interact with appliances and cabinets, see how they fit into their space—even pick out colors! Alongside this experience, they also created a mobile site where customers could access 3D models of products from their phone or tablet.
The HoloLens team wants to share some of the best practices that were derived from the Lowe’s HoloLens project. Below is a video of the Lowe’s HoloLens projected demonstrated at Satya’s 2016 Ignite keynote.
👉 Maximize performance for a mobile device
Is an untethered device with all the processing taking place in the device. This requires a mobile platform and requires a mindset similar to creating mobile applications. Microsoft recommends that your HoloLens application maintain 60FPS to provide a delicious experience for your users. Having low FPS can result in unstable holograms.
Some of the most important things to look at when developing on HoloLens is asset optimization/decimation, using custom shaders (available for free in the HoloLens Toolkit). Another important consideration is to measure the frame rate from the very beginning of your project. Depending on the project, the order of displaying your assets can also be a big contributor.
👉 Create UX methods with a full holographic frame (2nd talk)
It’s important to understand the placement of holograms in a physical world. With Lowe’s we talk about different UX methods that help users experience holograms up close while still seeing the larger environment of holograms.
👉 Precision alignment (2nd talk)
For the Lowe’s scenario, it was paramount to the experience to have precision alignment of the holograms to the physical kitchen. We discuss techniques helps ensure an experience that convinces users that their physical environment has changed.
👉 Shared holographic experiences (2nd talk)
Couples are the primary way that the Lowe’s experience is consumed. One person can change the countertop and the other person will see the changes. We called this “shared experiences”.
👉 Interacting with customers (2nd talk)
Lowe’s designers are not using a HoloLens, but they need to see what the customers are seeing. We show how to capture what the customer is seeing on a UWP application.