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New Bronco BEAM App Aimed At Helping Food Insecurity And Food Waste On Campus

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman
Boise State University students Tyler Chapman, left, Olivia Thomas and Issiac Torrero created and designed the Bronco Beam app.

Three student developers in Boise State University’s GIMMWorks program were brainstorming ideas for an app project when they came across this statistic: 36% of Boise State University students experienced food insecurity during the month-long survey in 2018.

“I don’t think any of us understood, had any idea of how big food insecurity was not only on the Boise State level but also on the national level," said student creator Tyler Chapman.

Chapman, along with creators Olivia Thomas and Issiac Torrero and department director Anthony Ellertson joined Idaho Matters to talk about the new Bronco app. 


The technology allows campus catering to send alerts to smartphones that are geolocated close to the event and let them know where and when free food is available. 


Ellertson says the BEAM, or Beacon Environment Approximation Mapping, technology allows for more precise, location-based alerts. 


“Essentially what it does is allow for very accurate placement of people within environments and so it understands context better than our phones are necessarily able to do by themselves," said Ellertson.  


The app is currently only available for Boise State students and faculty, but Ellertson says they are excited to expand the concept and projects like these off campus.


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