The creators of Roammeo, a new smartphone application and website that lists activities occurring on Yale’s campus, are piloting the program by offering it to prospective Yalies at Bulldog Days.
A team of six Yale undergraduates created the program and licensed the rights to the Yale admissions office this December for use during Bulldog Days, Yale’s spring event for admitted students, which runs this Wednesday through Friday. This week, Roammeo is intended to replace the countless paper maps and lists of events that prefrosh receive when they arrive on campus, and next week its creators will launch a beta version for current Yalies.
Jessica Cole ’12, who leads the team that made the application, said she came up with the idea because she has frequently missed events she wanted to attend, and found herself wishing there was one place that aggregated all the information about goings-on at Yale.
“We know that there’s something great happening at every moment, but you don’t know what it is,” Cole said. “We’ve had one too many times when a king comes visit and we don’t even know about it.”
Cole and her team licensed the rights to Roammeo to the admissions office and launched it last Friday via email to all prospective students registered for Bulldog Days. Several hundred of them have downloaded the program, Cole said Wednesday afternoon.
A preliminary version for college students will be released next week, but several members of the student team will continue working on additions to the application this summer. Avery Faller ’11, who creates products for Roammeo, said that the new version will eventually include many features the group has yet to design. For example, organizations will be able to post events to Roammeo, making it more interactive, he said.
“We’re really excited about this project,” Cole said. “Our company is really looking forward to expanding.”
Before the arrival of Roammeo, Bulldog Days organizers relied exclusively on printed maps and packages to advertise events, but Cole said this is not an efficient system.
Tyler Elkington ’12, who manages team operations for Roammeo, said admissions office printed materials make prospective students stand out, whereas with Roammeo, they can blend into a crowd of current Elis more easily.
“You look like a prefrosh with the map and the packet,” Elkington said.
Roammeo also offers other advantages over the traditional paper lists, creators said. The application includes a map of Yale’s campus dotted with points that signify upcoming events, along with their description and time. Users can search for events by time of category, looking for “Academic Events,” “For Parents,” “Panels and Forums,” “Signature Events,” “Performances,” “Student Events” and “Will Serve Food.” The application contains information about admissions office events and also smaller meetings, shows and parties held by extracurricular groups.
Prefrosh can save events to an agenda through Roammeo, or share them with parents and friends through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Sharing events with each other is really important,” Elkington said. “During Bulldog Days, you’re meeting so many new people that you want to know where they’re going.”
One of the most interesting features, Cole said, is the events randomizer. Roammeo users can shake their smartphones to bring up a randomly selected event going on in the next 24 hours.
The other Roammeo team members are Zach Kagin ’11, who works on the group’s long-term strategy, Harriet Owers-Bradley ’11, who handles creative and design work, and Kartik Venkatraman ’13, the team’s chief technology officer.