DIY Home Maintenance Training With Virtual Reality

It seems that VR Training is one of the most popular uses for Virtual Reality at the moment.

We have seen how VR Training is being used to train firefighters and other emergency workers, and we also saw how it is being used to train interns in the trauma room or for emergency room situations.

However this time is VR Training is not about life saving jobs… But rather about Home Improvement training.

Home Improvement VR Training

I personally am not the kind of guy that can easily fix anything at home. So as you might imagine, I would have a hard time building anything that’s not from IKEA.

Many people would love to complete their own home projects and this requires some simple skills and experience. Companies are now swarming to provide a simulation of a particular home improvement project. The idea is that  VR training can leads you step by step, as you build the project. As a result you have a pretty good idea of what he needs to do once you actually go home and work through the real world.

So who is making these simulations anyway?

Lowe’s VR Training Experience

Lowe’s is a giant when it comes to home improvement materials, so it seems fitting that they are pursuing VR Training for their customers. Customers at one particular Lowe’s in Massachusetts have been given a free VR Training lesson. Specifically helping them in tiling a bathroom.

They are placed within an empty room for the simulation. Lowe’s is using the HTC Vive for this, so they are making full use of the room scaling capability. They are also making full use of HTC Vive’s Motion controllers, to make sure the customers gets the best tutorial possible.

While this is the only tutorial available now, Lowe’s hopes to add a broader range of tutorials for their customers in the future.

Why VR Training is Perfect For Lowe’s

As of this moment, Lowe’s says that around 36% of their customers feel that they better understood the tile process because of the simulation. Meaning this 36% preferred the simulation over watching “How To” videos on YouTube or even get help from a friend for the project.

The number is not huge, at least not yet. However there are many benefits to VR Training. The immersive and interactive nature is something we have talked in the past. However there is also a more practical benefit to it.

Lowe’s Director of Innovation Labs Kyle Nel commented, that having a VR Training experience available has great benefits. For him teaching a class with an instructor hired by Lowe’s would require to set a schedule around it. Meaning some customers would be able to attend while others wouldn’t.

However with the VR Experience the lesson is available at all times the store is open. Making it much more accessible to all customers.

“Virtual reality just happens to be the best way to give people what they want, when they want it.” Nel also commented that VR Training is absolutely perfectible,  Lowe’s can study the participants, to understand where they get stuck and why. Once any problem is found the experience can be enhanced to make it easier to understand.

Nel Believes that once this project hits all stores, improvements to the simulations could be done on a daily basis.


Image Credit Jim G


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