The Academy of Art University Created the AR App Tenderfeels to Make San Francisco More Beautiful

The Academy of Art University is working to make the world more beautiful. The Academy competed in a recent event sponsored by Tech in the Tenderloin in conjunction with the San Francisco Salvation Army Kroc Center. Four Academy students presented Tenderfeels, an app utilizing augmented reality, to the Chief Innovation Officer of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation.

If adopted, Tenderfeels will help make the vibrant but economically challenged Tenderloin neighborhood safer for the approximately 25,000 people who live in the quarter-square-mile location. While historically rich, dynamic, and centrally located, the Tenderloin experiences one of the highest rates of crime and poverty in the city.


The Academy of Art University School of Game Development competed against students from schools such as University of California Berkeley, Penn State, and Standford Universities. The idea: to employ augmented or virtual reality (AR/VR) to discover community and social-focused solutions customized for the unique Tenderloin neighborhood.

Augmented reality uses graphics, sounds, and tactile feedback, and these data points are joined into the natural world. AR creates a fusion with the existing natural setting and then interposes virtual data on top of that information. The Tenderfeels app allows people to communicate in real time by collecting information contributed by Tenderloin residents as they interact with their environment. The goal: empowering people and organizations implementing solutions.

The Academy of Art University

The Academy is a privately owned for-profit school established by Richard S. Stephens as the Academy of Advertising Art in 1929.

The Academy now boasts 283 full-time teachers, a robust part-time teaching staff of 1154 members, and educates approximately 12,600 students, which may make it the largest privately owned art and design school in the US. The main campus is located in fashionable SOMA, demonstrating the school motto: “Built by artists for artists.”


The Academy of Art University offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees with classes available in traditional campus settings and online. Academy of Art University has earned regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Find out more about Academy of Art University:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *