Not every application for virtual reality will be a sexy one — but that's okay. A truly import platform transcends the flash and pomp and circumstance and pushes toward the truly useful, even the utilitarian.
It is for that reason that I agreed to put on an Oculus headset in the middle of the Las Vegas Convention Center and remodel a kitchen.
Currently available in a half-dozen test stores in Colorado and Ohio, the Lowe's Holoroom utilizes the Oculus Rift for the fairly mundane (and famously maddening) task of kitchen and bathroom remodeling. The program harnesses VR's immersive properties to put customers in the middle of a model room, dragging and dropping in different elements to visualize how they fit together in a space.
The whole thing starts with an app designed by AR/VR developer Marxent. Customers define the dimensions of the space and the colors of the room, then begin adding in the elements they want. Once the first draft is created, they slip on the Rift to get a full-scale view of what everything looks like, turning their head to get a full 360-degree view of their surroundings.
You can't actually manipulate the objects from there, but the sales associate gets a real-time view of what's happening in the headset and can continue to change elements to the customer's desire.
It's a compelling way to visualize things, and all in all, it's a heck of a lot easier than trying return a toilet.