UT creates app to see inside favorite fruits

March 28, 2011 | Features, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

fruit-exposedSee fruit in a whole new way with an interactive app created by The University of Toledo.

Fruit Expos3D provides real X-ray computed tomography imagery of 25 different pieces of fruit with detailed 0.5-millimeter CT scan slices that highlight the density of the objects.

The app, created by the UT Center for Creative Instruction in conjunction with the Radiology Department, gives users the options to “explore” an apple, banana, star fruit, blueberries and more with a video that rotates the three-dimension image as it cuts through the layers to explore the fruit in extreme detail.

There also are fun facts to learn about each piece of fruit. For example, did you know that an apple is a member of the rose family? Or that there are more than 3,000 known varieties of pears in the world?

The “Play Game” feature allows you to test your hand at identifying each fruit from the “exposed” image. A correct answer on the first try earns 100 points, with clues to help you on your second guess, as for example, “Hey Einstein, what kind of fuzzy logic are you using?” to point you in the right direction of peach.

The Center for Creative Instruction has extensive experience in developing educational content using a variety of imaging techniques and multimedia. This product was a natural extension of the work that has been done previously using CT images of human anatomy.

“Viewing the anatomy of fruit is something that everyone can appreciate,” said Ted Ronau, manager of technology development. “Medical personnel would find this interesting. Some people are really into nutrition, so they would be interested in seeing the apple and learning the facts. And as an educational resource, this can be taken into the classroom with young students to teach them about fruit.”

“This product is an example of some of the research and development being done in the center,” said Sherry Andrews, director of the Center for Creative Instruction. “This type of technology translates to the educational content being developed collaboratively with Dr. Pamela Boyers in the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center. It has also spawned a joint grant pre-proposal to the Gates Foundation with faculty member Dr. Tod Shockey of the Curriculum and Instruction Department by using 3D fruit concepts to educate middle school students in math.”

The Center for Creative Instruction has developed numerous mobile applications over the years; however, this is the first one for sale in both the Android Market and iTunes store.

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