Microsoft, Lowe's to help remodelers through virtual reality

Why buy a refrigerator before seeing what it might look like in a remodeled kitchen?

Microsoft and Lowe's are going to test customers' appetite for that type of experience starting this month with a using the HoloLens headset inside a store in the Seattle area, where Microsoft is based.

Customers will be able to use the to view a kitchen remodeling demonstration, allowing them to see images of design options for cabinets, countertops and appliances. Users will be able to adjust appliance finishes, countertop sizes, and other options, and share their designs on the Internet, Scott Erickson, who leads Microsoft's HoloLens marketing team, said in a blog post on Friday.

The HoloLens, which displays images over the wearer's environment, will start shipping to some at the end of this month at a cost of $3,000.

Microsoft has tried to drum up interest in the device among businesses with a series of partnerships touting the device's potential use, including demonstrations with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and automaker Volvo.

A release final date for the hasn't been announced.

Microsoft didn't specify which of Lowe's Seattle-area stores will feature the HoloLens pilot. Lowe's will also demonstrate the devices in a store in Raleigh, N.C. The company is headquartered in North Carolina.

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