This AR experience uses the PLU sticker on Sunkist Oranges to tell a short (very simplified) story of an orange’s trip from farm to eatery.

Scene 1: the farm

  • There is a representation of a farm in virtual space
  • Depicted are orange trees being sprayed with chemicals

Scene 2: the processing facility

  • Oranges are put onto conveyor belts
  • The oranges are deposited into baths
  • The baths wash the chemicals off the oranges

Scene 3: transportation

  • The oranges are inside a freight train
  • The train is moving

Scene 4: distribution center

  • The oranges (in boxes) are moving along conveyor belts

Scene 5: store delivery

  • The oranges arrive at the store

I will be using the phone’s GPS capability to display a near-accurate distance a Sunkist Orange traveled. I have chosen the Sunkist brand navel orange for two main reasons. One: it is the only orange I have been able to find on campus, thus allowing me to standardize the story and image target (for Vuforia purposes). Two: Sunkist navel oranges are grown in a relatively contained region of the U.S. in southern California and western Arizona. Therefore, my distance approximation will be fairly accurate.

I am interested in using the orange because it’s a food product that many of us come into contact each day. However, it’s a food that it not native to Pittsburgh, not could be grown in Pittsburgh. Thus, my aim is to bring attention to distances food travels before ending up in a supermarket. Additionally, I call to attention the drawbacks of this highly globalized, highly fossil fuel dependent industry. I do this by focusing the app’s attention on the ecologically degrading components of food production, such as agrochemicals, processing, transportation, and distribution. I also want to mention that this project is not focusing on the social implications of agriculture and food policy. While these aspects are extremely important, they are not in the scope of this project.

I intend for this application to be used mostly in eateries and grocery stores. For example, in a Giant Eagle, Aldi’s, or Entropy, this piece would function as a semi-immersive AR experience, giving consumes an opportunity to learn about the production process of an orange before it is purchased.

This is how the project would work from start to finish:

  • An AR camera is pointed at an orange with a Sunkist PLU sticker
  • Vuforia recognized the image and creates the virtual scenes (listed above)
  • As a participant moves counterclockwise away from the orange, they would view the scenes in reverse order, ending at the farm.
  • As they move, they would notice their distance from their physical location increasing. This would require the phone’s GPS data.
  • When the user reaches the “farm” scene (scene 1), the AR experience is over

Here’s a photo of the PLU sticker:

Here’s a map of all Sunkist navel orange farms: