Augmented reality experienced a surge in general popularity in the wake of the Pokemon Go craze, but has been a central topic in technology circles for several years now.

The toys company began shipping AR kiosks to its stores years ago, and these remain some of the most impressive enhancements to the in-store experience today.

Retailers will likely continue to adopt strategies that leverage augmented reality as the technology evolves, but it's important to acknowledge the underlying function of these examples, utility.

In the case of Legos, Ikea, and Home Depot, that utility is in supporting and progressing the showrooming experience beyond price matching.

Debuted in 2014, the Lowe's HoloRoom serves a similar purpose as a standard model room, only fully digital and entirely customizable.

Admittedly, the function of Lowe's HoloRoom can be realized through AR as well, and in all likelihood at a lower cost, but the ability to provide fully immersive VR experiences to customers will no doubt increase in value as VR alternatives like Google Cardboard gain consumer and developer popularity.

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