How AR enables me to plant a tree in a rain forest in Indonesia without leaving Singapore

e27.co/kristine-celicious

Take a look at how the Into the Wild initiative leverages AR to take corporate social responsibility to the next level

Technology is amazing. It enables us to do great and noble things in different parts of the world, often without even having to leave behind our busy lives at home.

A few weeks back, I got a chance to partake in a virtual tree planting experience at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore.

Google, Lenovo, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are working together to transform 1,000 square meter of space into a virtual rain forest through the Into the Wild initiative.

I was hundreds of miles away from the location, but thanks to use of an augmented reality programme, a real tree will be planted in Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve — one of Indonesia’s last pristine forest area — on my behalf.

My adventure began by registering online to reserve my device and select my preferred date and time. Upon arriving to the venue, I was given a smartphone device and instructions on how to navigate the rain forest. I was immediately transformed into a forest ranger!

I was told to follow a path and watch out for instructions on the screen, where I can see the virtual rain forest and animals living in it.

Also Read: The next environmental threat: video streaming

The tree that I planted!

Finally, I was (virtually) given a seed and instructed to look for a place to plant my tree within the museum.

Along with a pledge to WWF, a real tree will be planted in Rimba Baling on my behalf. I was even being given the coordinates on where the tree is located and can locate it on Google Maps! I will also be given updates on the tree through email.

The Into the Wild exhibition is available for free, and I definitely encourage you to visit and make a pledge. (It is currently going through renovations and will re-open on April 17).

The AR technology allows users to go beyond “just donating” when participating in a social movement; the use of AR gives a sense that you are making a real-world difference by virtually planting a tree and preserving the remaining forests in Southeast Asia.

Its immersive nature gave me a clear perspective on the works needed to protect our natural resources, and it makes for an ideal platform for social initiatives or corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects.

It is a brilliant initiative and I am hoping to see technology being used to improve, preserve and protect our planet

I promise you it is worth it!

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