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App designer student codes winning smartphone app

Jul 5, 2013

University of MO students recently collaborated to develop a smartphone app that will improve student safety on campus.  Their Safe Trek app will be promoted at MU during Summer Welcome.  Safe Trek has received support from Mizzou Advantage.

Story by:  Calder Cleavelin

A new smartphone app, unveiled at the Reynolds Journalism Institute Tech Showcase in May, promises to give university students more assurance of a safe walk across campus.

Safe Trek was developed by Zach Beattie, Natalie Cheng and Zach Winkler, from the MU Trulaske College of Business, School of Journalism, and computer science program, respectively, for the 2013 Windows 8 mobile app development competition. This “blue light in the palm of your hand,” as the team calls it, may yet be the next generation of community-engaged public safety systems.

Winkler and his team were awarded first place in the competition, earning each member a Microsoft Surface tablet and a trip to Microsoft’s world headquarters.

“It was pretty fun to work on,” said Winkler, a senior computer science major and sole coder for the  Safe Trek mobile app and companion web application. “We were just taking a lot of current technologies that are out there and then merging them together in sort of a new way.”

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