PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

MeetBall App Helps Football Fans Find Tailgates

Meet MeetBall.

Frustrated by spending football game days on his phone in futile attempts to guide friends and family to his specific location, Ryan Owen, a Penn State graduate, realized there must be a better solution.

With that mixture of exasperation and determination that fuels many great creations, Owen created a mobile app that, in his words, “turns users’ smartphones into a Friend Finder.”

“We make it easy to securely share your location for a limited period of time by simplifying GPS and compass technology,” Owen said. Simply, if one wants to find a friend’s tailgate in the vast cow pastures that surround Beaver Stadium, he or she must receive a virtual invite – a  “MeetBall” – from that friend, and a presentable arrow will guide this thirsty tailgater in the right direction.

“MeetBall is meant to help maximize the time spent in tailgating utopia,” Owen said.

MeetBall first came out in November 2011 and has a team of twelve programmers and promoters, half of which are Penn State graduates. “This app was created by Penn Staters, for Penn Staters, first and foremost,” Owen said.

Though he graduated with a degree in Information Sciences in 1999, the programming languages and systems have drastically changed in the past fifteen years, and Owen walked into the app development world with little applicable know-how. Fortunately, Owen’s brother Matt had both software development and tailgating experience, and took over the technical reigns of the project.

“Matt went to Notre Dame so he understands the tailgating scene, which helps as we work through the MeetBall user experience,” Owen said.

The beta version came out before this year’s Blue and White game. Since then, Owen’s team has been gathering feedback in advance for MeetBall’s official, full-scale launch in November.

While in theory an app that can effortlessly bring friends and family together in congested areas sounds like a sure success, there are obvious difficulties. On game days, Beaver Stadium has notoriously poor cell service, and the surrounding areas have no Wi-Fi. According to Owen, this issue was solved in the beta version.

“In all but the worst situations, this will allow the app to function even in low bandwidth environments and we have successfully tested it at events comparable to a Penn State game,” Owen said. “We’ve constructed MeetBall to work with the current state of bandwidth at events.  I don’t want to give away too much about how we solved the problem, but hopefully the users appreciate the effort that went into it come November!”

If MeetBall can overcome dodgy cell service and successfully guide drunk, cold, and hungry football fans through the expanses that surround the stadium to their respective tailgates, users will certainly appreciate all of the hard work that went into the app’s development come November.

About the Author

Ben Berkman

State College, PA

Comments

More by Ben

Nassib Healthy To ‘Kick Some Ass,’ Johnson And Hackenberg Seek Pro Evaluations

James Franklin made two things clear before the Lions travel South: Carl Nassib is 100 percent healthy for a game for the first time in more than a month, and Christian Hackenberg and Austin Johnson have both applied for draft evaluations from the NFL.

Gameday Observations: Return To Rec

Penn State Stomps Canisius, 81-67, In First Of Two Rec Hall Showdowns

Athletics

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Students were delayed hours on Tuesday afternoon while trying to purchase on-campus parking permits.

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend