While Peter Solimine was earning his BS in Economics at Tulane University, he had an early morning class in the auditorium with several hundred other students. Early morning meaning 7:45 AM!
We all know what many college students are doing the night before such an early morning class. Studying?? Maybe. Or maybe out partying until the wee hours! Crawling out of bed to attend an early morning class where they don’t even take attendance just seemed like a waste of precious sleeping time. However, the class was required and getting the information presented at the lectures was crucial.
Solimine was also studying computer science and began to think about how the experience of not having to attend a class in order to actually do well in that class might play out as an app and created Beulr. The restrictions on public gathering that became necessary during the Covid-19 pandemic also led to a vast increase in the use of meeting platforms, and the app could be used by employees for meetings that meet the current requirements of the app.
Beulr is simply a meeting “bot” that can be programmed to sign into a Zoom meeting or class, using the unique ID to register the user as “present,” even though they are not actually attending the class. At this time, Solimine recommends only using the bot for meetings where attendance is not taken, video of attendees is not required, and live participation is not expected. He is working on providing features such as a film loop showing someone at their desk, and transcription capability. A fee for those capabilities will be charged. He is also working on making the app useable on meeting platforms other than Zoom.
The name, Beulr, is a nod to the movie, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. Solimine is hoping his app will do as well as the movie it’s named after!