UWSP student, instructor teaming up on safety app

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) — Two members of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point community are developing a safety app that allows students to track the location of friends who are out on the town.

Senior Jenna Furger and instructor Drew Frisk, who develops apps for Berkshire Hathaway, are working together to conduct the first beta test, Stevens Point Journal Media (http://spjour.nl/1DmZSyb ) reported. They hope to roll out the app within the next couple of months.

When it's complete, students will be able to download the app and add other users to their circles via Facebook. That way, they can ensure their friends made it home safely from bars or parties.

The app is meant to be the next evolution of the Bring a Buddy plan that Furger co-created to encourage UWSP students to keep an eye out for one another. She started the program with the parents of Eric Duffey, a 21-year-old student who drowned in the Wisconsin River on his birthday in March 2012, to prevent similar incidents. Organizers of the campaign hope the app will help them further their mission.

Furger said UW campuses across the state have expressed interest in participating in the latest Bring a Buddy initiative.

"We were so overwhelmed with people wanting to be a part of this that we didn't have enough hours to keep up," Furger said.

The next step is to test the app, according to Frisk and Furger. They plan to try it out on a group of UWSP students during homecoming next weekend. The dry run will allow Frisk to work out any bugs and polish the app's special features.

The program can be used by anyone throughout the country, according to Frisk, because it's not specific to the university. He and Furger hope to release it in late October or November.


Information from: Stevens Point Journal Media, http://www.stevenspointjournal.com

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