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Plant real (and virtual) trees with BOS’s new augmented reality app

BOS icetea

Yep, the innovative organic iced tea company is at it again. This time, it’s not a tweeting vending machine: BOS is allowing its customers to plant trees using their smartphones.

For its ‘BOSify your world’ campaign, the South African-based company has begun churning out cans of ice tea baring a QR code which, when scanned with a code reader or augmented reality app like Layar, take their customers to a dedicated mobi site. After entering a name for their tree, a short message and the last four digits of the barcode on the can, you can ‘plant’ a tree using your phone’s GPS co-ordinates.

If you’ve downloaded Layar, you can then use your phone’s camera to ‘scan’ the area around you to spot your tree and those planted by others. The tree is coloured according to whatever flavour of ice tea you’re holding, and is dated so you can see when the others were ‘planted’. You can also share the location of your tree using Facebook or Twitter from within the app.

BOS screenshots

But BOS isn’t just letting customers plant quirky digital trees — it’s using the app to spread some real life greenery too. For every 2000 virtual trees which are planted using the mobisite, the company says it will plant one tree through its partnership with environmental organisation GreenPop. Since the company started, it has planted a tree for every 2000 cans sold in a bid to offset the carbon footprint generated by producing and distributing its product. To date, it’s planted more than 2 000 trees in underprivileged schools and public places in need of a little greening.

“Now that we’ve seen the positive effects of our tree planting efforts and the future potential, we are more determined than ever to expand the awareness of the importance of planting trees,” says BOS Ice Tea founder Grant Rushmere. “With the launch of this app we hope to get closer to our goal of planting 50,000 trees by 2020 and hope that our efforts will inspire others to also take on the challenge.”


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