FAU students learn 'app' design

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Have an emergency? Mathew Hudson has an app for that.

"I hope no one ever has to use this but it's a good feeling that it can be in their pocket and have the ability to get the help they need when they need it," said Hudson, a Florida Atlantic University senior.

His five-person team spent the semester designing and testing an app for Droid phones that can get campus police on the line with a few taps of a phone's outside buttons.

It gives police a GPS location and opens the phone's microphone so dispatchers can hear everything.

"A student can have help, faster," said Hudson.

Prof. Jeanne McConnell created FAU's first app-design course.

"This generation is in constant use all the time," said McConnell.

Seven teams of students designed applications for Droid phones, ones that help patients keep watch of medical symptoms, ones that help doctors keep track of prescriptions, and one that helps the handicapped get help during a natural disaster.

But this isn't just about apps. It's about jobs.

FAU is trying to keep its students on the cutting edge of an emerging industry.

"I truly believe that my students leave my class with practical experience. I think they would agree, so that their resume is better than other resumes," said McConnell.

The creators of the campus emergency app are hoping to graduate with an operating business.

They're trying to sell their app to schools across the country. But their first pitch will be to FAU.

"I learned that I really want to be an entrepreneur," said senior Haley Grosky.

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