Friday, June 16, 2006

"Dancehall Dormroom"


The title of this blogpost is the same as the title of the interesting article I am about to share with you all from the June 5th publication of the "Metro". I always pick up the Metro on the way to my job everyday as it gives me something to read while I'm riding the T. There are better days than others when it comes to the articles in the Metro. Today was one of them as the front page had a spread of a male MIT student, Zach Anderson, who apparently has secured his freshmen dormroom with such things as motion detectors, surveillance cameras, sirens, and a fingerpoint scanner (for his own identity) in order to deactivate all these devices.

You may be thinking this kid is a little overly protective of his dormroom, however, the twist is that Anderson and his roomate are the ones that installed it all and the first students in MIT history to make an automated dormroom! (Wait did I read that right? Only in MIT's history??? This had been done before??) It shouldn't come as a surprise that this boy is an electrical engineer/computer science major and received a perfect score on his Math SAT's. Here is a look into the brain of a mathematical genius: between the the two boys, they set up a security system, electrical blinds, voice activation, LED screens that flash weather and news, and they can see if someone has broke into the room through a remote access Web cam. Phew! This is some intense stuff, I know I wouldn't want to mess with these kids! Even more impressive it took them the school year and only cost them 300 dollars, as opposed to the thousands it would have if someone else had installed everything. Anderson has also posted his dormroom and a party video on techblog.com, and since has received 600 hits per minute!

Here is the fun part...so not only is their room protected head to toe, it is also a fun party house! With a hit of a red button, Anderson can have his blinds show funky graphic designs, get his music pumping, black lights going, and even fog machines starting! I bet those MIT freshmen don't have too much of a hard time deciding where they are going to go party in the dorms these days.

We may not know Mr. Anderson but I encourage you to check out his site in the link above as he is one of our peers as a college age student. Look at what we are doing now....and grown ups think all we do is party!


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3 comments:

towey said...

This article is really interesting! I found myself clicking on the link that you gave to their website where they have a lot of detail and also videos where you can watch their inventions in progress.

I had never heard of anything like this before (with your comment about how it had been done in schools other than MIT), but think these kids are onto something! but my only question is how does the school feel? Although it is great publicity for the school, I wonder how fond they are of the students monitoring their own areas, rather than the school doing the monitoring. Specifically, if the students are doing something that the school doesn't approve of in their dorm room, and they have cameras down the hallways to see if anyone is coming and who will be at their door, the school somewhat loses its authority. Just something else to think about! I wonder if MIT has addressed this issue or if they are just embracing the inventions.

tanyak said...

This is so cool. I can't believe students are capable of that. I was very impressed. I wonder, though, at what other school's students had done this. It said it was the first time in MIT's history. Which universities had this been done at? It's really impressive. And yes, I too wonder how MIT views this. Are they just impressed with their students, or did the students get into some kind of trouble?

Jesols said...

I too wonder how MIT is re-acting to this. I can only imagine how Northeastern (and we all know how much NU loves control) would react. I have a friend who has an apartment at 80 the Fenway who did something similar to his room (though nowhere to the extent that Mr. Anderson has done)and I always thought about how others would react to it. Interesting article!