Using Augmented Reality to Inform Consumer Choice and Lower Carbon Footprints

Steven C. Isley, Robert Ketcham, Douglas J. Arent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


Consumers who wish to consider product attributes like carbon footprints in their purchasing decisions are often blocked from meaningful action by a lack of information. We conducted a randomized controlled trial at a grocery store to evaluate the effects of providing such product attribute and carbon footprint information via augmented reality (AR) displays on bottled water and breakfast cereal, two frequently purchased goods. Using an AR smartphone app that combines comparative and detailed product information into personalized data and recommendations, a 23% reduction in carbon footprint was found for bottled water, and non-significant reductions for breakfast cereal. However, AR informed choice lead to healthier cereal purchases with an average of 32% less sugar, 15% less fat, and 9.8% less sodium. This research suggests that AR techniques can help facilitate complex decision-making and lead to better choices.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 064002
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 23 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A80-65565


  • Augmented reality
  • carbon footprint
  • consumer behavior
  • nutrition


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