The celebrated Academy of Art University has recently teamed of with the local community of Tenderloin in San Francisco to bring an augmented reality project to life. The school founded in 1929 has been a nexus of creative activity since its inception. Therefore, it is no surprise that an art school in the heart of Silicon Valley has used technology to strengthen its connection to the local community. The latest innovation is a new smartphone application called Tenderfeels that uses augmented reality to help users feel safe in the Tenderloin district.
In an area of San Francisco that is often overrun with crime and poverty, it is home to one of the youngest populations in the city to the cheap rents. The Tenderloin has always had a troubled history, but the app hopes to dispel its seedy past. Residents will be able to share the moods depending on where the live or hangout based on emoticon characters. As the app grows, users will be able to see and avoid locations with unhappy characters or be able to see places that are better populated with happier emotions. The app will be updated in real time as users express their feelings live on the app.
Augmented reality gained notoriety with the poplar Pokemon Go app where users were able to catch “live” Pokemon in the city. The app exploded as it introduced one of the first viral uses of augmented reality to the public. The Tenderfeels app will work in similar way to Pokemon as a crowd sourced informational tool designed to help the community. It works best when users are able to update their feelings according to their surroundings at will for each moment of the day.
The Academy of Art is one of the largest schools in San Francisco with over 12,000 students enrolled at the school at one time. It often churns out projects that act to make a dynamic difference in both the art world and local communities. The school has an open admission rate where students are able to explore studies in everything from computer design to fashion styling.