COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — What started out as a platform to make one Texas A&M student's own virtual school life a little bit easier quickly turned into something much bigger.
Jonathan Samuel is a member of the Aggie 2022 class, and he's hoping to make the lives of others easier with an invention of his own.
During the transition to online classes from Spring Break, Samuel became annoyed with all of the emails he was receiving and each class' unique Zoom password and ID. So the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution student chose to do something about it.
"It was a little hard to keep track of it, so I was like, you know what? I'll just make something for myself just to be able to keep track of it. Ill just make an extension of my browser and be able to easily launch my classes," said the inventor of Zoom Utils.
Samuel says he has made similar products in the past for fun, but this latest invention has had the largest impact.
"It's really interesting to just go online and search Zoom Utils and see how many people are tweeting and talking about and saying, "Hey you should use it," and I don't even have any connection with them what so ever. They are literally on the other side of the country. It's really affirming," Samuel added.
Once you install Zoom Utils, you get an extension on your browser.
"....which allows you to have all of your meetings in one place. Whenever you want to go to your link and find it, you can organize them, drag and drop. Instead of going to your email and finding it, you literally just have to click one button," Samuel said.
One of the students Utils is assisting is Alec Kennison, a junior at Harvard. He is nearly 2,000 miles away from College Station, yet the app invented by his friend Samuel is making its way across the country.
"When COVID-19 first hit back in March, one of the key challenges and difficulties that I and a lot of college students experienced was how do we transition from the virtual learning format? How do we learn from online classes? I think that Zoom Utils is really useful in this transition," Kennison said.
When asked what is next for Samuel and Zoom Utils, he says he would love a partnership with the video communications leader itself, Zoom.
"I think Zoom is helping a lot of students now, and if you couple it with Zoom Utils, I think it would be the perfect suite for students," Samuel said.
Zoom Utils helps make accessing your Zoom meeting details easier.
"It really helps with getting to class on time and not having to go to your email trying to find out an email that may have been sent a month ago," Kennison said.
"I know I am making an impact and I am making their day a little bit easier," Jonathan added.
Jonathan says Zoom Utils is the best way to keep track of, notify and launch all of your Zoom meetings. He has over 7,000 downloads currently and says that number keeps climbing everyday.
You can find more information on the extension as well as download it for yourself by visiting zoomutils.com.