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Marshalls plc launches Virtual Sample service using augmented reality

Homeowners looking to invest in their gardens and driveways now have more planning tools at their fingertips thanks to the launch of an innovative augmented reality tool by Marshalls.

Marshalls is investing in its digital transformation, and the launch of its new virtual sample service is a first for the industry and is the first phase of a major paving visualiser project. The new tool uses the latest in Augmented Reality technology and allows homeowners to see Marshalls paving, walling and edging products in full 3D and ‘place’ them in their own outdoor spaces, experimenting with colours, size and materials. People can download the images to keep for inspiration and comparison, and to share with friends for help with decision making.

Martyn Coffey, CEO of Marshalls, said: “Over the past year we have seen how much people value their outdoor space and we know how much effort goes into researching ideas and planning renovations. Having the ability to physically see products laid in a space is invaluable, it allows people to compare colours and materials and truly visualise what their garden could look like.

We’ve been creating 3D garden designs for customers of Marshalls Registered Installers for a number of years, but we’re pleased to be able to put an element of this technology directly in the palms of homeowners to help in those early stages of planning. It’s a quick and easy tool to use and allows people to instantly view products in their space.”

The free virtual sample tool uses mobile technology which already exists on most modern Android and IOS smart phones, which means people don’t need to download any software or app, or share their details. Over 60% of Marshalls domestic products are now available to view in 3D form, with more being added daily. Visitors to the Marshalls stand at last week’s BBC Gardeners World Live got the chance to road test the tool and found it to be easy to use and fun too.

Martyn added; “Virtual samples will help to narrow down product choices and reduce the number of physical product samples needed, making it more eco-friendly as there is less of an impact on the environment.”

Virtual samples are instant and allow people to get a larger area view than if they were using just a physical sample, this particularly helps with ranges where there is natural colour variation. Marshalls continues to offer free physical samples to customers too, with a small charge for postage and packaging when ordering from the website.

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