Initially founded as the Academy of Advertising Art in 1929, the Academy of Art University has continued to offer highly innovative training in areas of fine art, design, entertainment and even liberal arts. Arguably the largest privately owned art school in the US, AAU offers specialized training such as designing of video games and also the design of smartphone applications. The institution’s alumni book speaks volumes, with the University producing the best in the field of acting, modeling, fashion designing, filming and photographing.
Recently, students of the School of Game Development of AAU presented their work to the Chief Innovation Officer of San Francisco of the Mayor’s office. Their presentation was given using augmented reality, a technology that has greatly been embraced in many areas of the technological field. Augmented reality, which is a technology that overlays virtual aspects such as sound and touch to the existing environment, has been an area of interest lately and the Academy of Art University GAM students have made the most out of it.
Through Tenderfeels, a smartphone application, real-time data can be harvested from users and residents of Tenderloin District of San Francisco. The data indicates the emotion of the user on each street or block within Tenderloin District. Emotions may range from ‘disgusted’ to ‘happy.’ With this data on Tenderfeels, any other user can get to know why a particular user is happy or disgusted by a specific street or location within the Tenderloin District. Through this way, problem areas can be identified and possibly a solution to the issues raised.
The step taken by the Academy of Art University GAM students is a broad one, and one that gives hope of a better society. However, augmented reality will not end with Tenderfeels. Facebook is also said to be working on projects based on augmented reality, according to Mark Zuckerberg’s strategic plan for Facebook.
Such innovations by AAU students have continued to map the institution’s name globally, adding to their list of successful students. Alumni such as Jan Philip Cramer have been good examples and role models for students at AAU. Currently the head of Animation at Digital Domain, Cramer has worked on high-profile films of all time, such as Deadpool, Avatar, and Avengers: Infinity War.