Is Lowe’s Style Studio for Apple Vision Pro the Future of Renovation?

Is Lowe’s Style Studio for Apple Vision Pro the Future of Renovation?

Have you gotten your hands on an Apple Vision Pro yet? Early adopters have lauded the quality of the hardware, with the majority of users impressed by the immersive experience offered while watching media, participating in video conferencing, and used as a virtual productivity workspace. The first generation device’s lofty price, physical discomfort associated with longer sessions with it on, and the dearth of compelling applications outside of Apple’s own built-in features and app ecosystem are the negative checks cited. But anyone who remembers the launch of the original iPhone will also recollect iOS apps were few and far between at first before a deluge of apps began to build upon the foundation of a culturally transformative combination of hardware and software.

One of the more promising launch visionOS apps available today is Lowe’s Style Studio, a kitchen design app created in-house by Lowe’s Innovation Labs that combines the Vision Pro’s spatial computing and augmented reality technology to inform customers and their design professionals with greater dimensional, color and lighting options available at Lowe’s.

Is Lowe’s Style Studio for Apple Vision Pro the Future of Renovation?

Shadows and lighting add a greater sense of immersion while visiting the simulated kitchen setting. Options are made available with just a tap across products offered by Lowe’s.

Over a combination of video conference and FaceTime, Lowe’s Senior Director, Ecosystem Josh Shabtai walked us through a demo of the newly launched visionOS app. Using pass-through footage, we previewed how a Vision Pro user can access a catalog of curated designer kitchens representing a range of styles (e.g. Maximalist, Mid-Century, Farmhouse, etc) within a navigable 3D kitchen environment, with the ability to switch in and out materials, fixtures, and appliances using the Apple Vision Pro’s gaze-and-tap gestures.

A 3d rendering of a kitchen with Apple Vision Pro technology.

Navigating the app feels somewhat akin to viewing a scene from The Sims and navigating an easy going and very decor-focused first person shooter where nobody gets hurt except your home renovation budget.

A 3D rendering of a living room and kitchen optimized for Apple Vision Pro with 3D floating cube of preview options in center of screen.

Lowe’s says there are nearly 80 billion possible kitchen combinations offered when you tally up the options available from the home improvement giant’s catalog. Once kitchen design choices are finalized, users have the ability to turn their virtual picks into a style board with itemized products to “email, text, or AirDrop them to a significant other, contractor, or interior designer.”

A 3D rendering of a kitchen visualized through Apple Vision Pro with two yellow stools, blue and turquoise cabinets, and white French door refrigerator.

One important note is the Lowe’s Style Studio kitchen environment operates as a pre-set showroom rather than an augmented representation of your real world kitchen. At this time there is no option to preview your real world kitchen environment with a virtual overlay of material, color, or products. The Lowe’s Innovation Labs team acknowledges this is a current limitation, alongside the kitchen’s somewhat modest poly-count models. But Shabtai more than hints future updates paired with iterative improvements to Apple’s hardware will invite a wider range of interactions.

Three kitchen interior design styles shown across a style board window within the augmented reality display via the Lowe's Style Studio for Apple Vision Pro.

Of course, previewing an augmented reality 3D model environment from a device or computer screen only offered a partial glimpse of the full capabilities and experience of Lowe’s Style Studio. Even so, it seems more than apparent the future of home improvement and renovation planning will be greatly improved by the ability to audition options with dimensional accuracy with just a tap, and well before having to commit to pressing, “buy.”

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.