Tucked away within the city of San Fransisco is a gritty little neighborhood, who has become the test bed for an entirely new model of city planning, Tenderfeel. The simple phone app is designed to provide a streamlined data collection interface to its users, which allows them to directly feed information back to a central model, which collects it, and organizes it geographically, to highlight areas of issue among the populous. In conjunction with user taken photographs, the application provides a verbose model for not only identifying the problems of the city, but also, its location effected demographics, reasons, and contrast to areas which are not problems, are even considered a benefit to the area.
The app relies on its users providing feedback on the surroundings, in the form of five emotional responses, which are Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Joy. This information is compiled into a geographic model, which describes the environment according to user feedback. Two major uses emerge from this technology.
The first is as simple as it is useful, the ability to collect simple, streamlined data, which can be analysed in mass. City planners, politicians, activists, and community leaders can use this information to identify individual issues which may previously have required exhaustive collection of complex feedback such as letters and personal exchanges, or a close ended and often biased series of survey questions, which often can not convey information relevant to the topic, and bear a negative stigma.
The Tenderfeel app collects data over time, and places it in a digital model of the city, including information such as demographics and the frequency with which the problem emerges. This compromise allows the analysis to be simple while the data is robust, making it easier to discuss, distribute, and make accurate decisions based on it.
The second use is a touch more obscure, but has much greater potential for further growth of the technology. This information can be used to build what is known as Augmented Reality.
Augmented reality may seem more primitive, as a technology, but in fact it comes after virtual reality. Rather than creating an entire environment within the virtual world, augmented reality adds to the world as it already is, bringing added details which enhance the space, providing information and visuals to the user based on the preexisting reality, allowing the user to interact and move around freely and seamlessly.
Augmented Reality is being further developed by Academy of Art University, not only did its students create the Tenderfeel feel app, which is forming the foundation of the data structures for Augmented Reality, the arts university is furthering the development for its many applications, nearly all of which are squarely within their areas of expertise.
AAU is a privately owned for profit university in San Fransisco. Founded in 1929 by Richard S Stephens, the university has maintained a consistently positive record, being the nest from which many fledgling techniques and technologies took flight.
The Alumni of AAU tend to be artists, and those pursuing related careers; these careers especially within the visual Arts. Film directors, Vicky Jenson, Lee Cheol-ha, and Rudy Soedjarwo all are among the graduates of AAU, as well as music video director Chris Milk, and a litany of actors and actresses.
However, when it comes to the spotlight not the stagelights, AAU has garnered its fame in taking bleeding edge technologies, and using them to improve existing art mediums, or even create entirely new ones. The Tenderfeel app is the basis of what is shaping up to be another generation in visual arts entertainment.
Integration of the developing video game technologies at AAU, along side the industrious talent of such data engineers as the app’s creators, is shaping up to allow a whole new field to bear. The development of brilliant CGI and information disssemination for overlay in the real world, but unlike the silver screen, its in real time, and in your pocket.