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Germantown Middle Schoolers Demo iPhone App in Vegas

Food Agent can scan your food, tell you if there's a possibility it's contaminated

A team of middle school students from Germantown were among six finalists—the only kids on the stage—to show off their mobile app invention during a technology conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

The Germantown Droids—Nikola Bura, 11; Angelo Castro,13; and Jordan Qassis, 12—demonstrated their Food Agent app, which can scan the bar codes on supermarket items, tell you where the food came from and if it could possibility be contaminated.

The boys' app earned second place at Demo Jam, part of the SAP TechEd conference that wraps up today, according to coach John Astill, an employee of SAP. 

The rankings were determined by the amount of audience cheers, Astill said. The Droids didn’t win a cash prize or formal award.

“It’s for pride,” Astill told Patch.

Nikola, Angelo and Jordan attend Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown.

Astill said the three comprise the current membership of the Germantown Droids, a student group of competitive robot makers, coders and developers. Patch caught up with the Droids back in January, when they were planning to enter the mobile technology in statewide tournaments.

Astill said they’ve tweaked the product since then and have been hosting virtual meetings for the past three months.

During the conference, Angelo and Nikola demonstrated the app to a cheering audience. Thier presentation is available at the conference’s website.

“Let’s say I’m shopping at my local supermarket and I want to buy some apples,” Anglelo said during the presentation, as he plucked an apple from a nearby bag and scanned it with his phone. He explained that Food Agent used an open-source scanning library, which taps a database full of food information.

“I can see that this is an apple made by Bob’s apples in Germantown Maryland,” Angelo said.

Then he scanned some avocados, which triggered an alert.

“Food agent is telling me that this might not be the safest item to buy, that I might want to buy something else,” Angelo said. 

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