MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Jess K. '10

Jul 8, 2009


Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Life & Culture

Almost a year ago, I met a kid who tried to convince me to come back to his room with him to see his hydraulic door. To this day he insists 1) that it didn't happen and 2) if it did happen, his intentions were completely innocent and simply limited to showing me how he could use water to open and close his door. Whether you believe him or not, I have to admit my boyfriend's door is pretty good at attracting the ladies.

Here's his door in action:

A couple notes from someone who has opened and shut this door from her iPhone on several occasions:

1) My decrepit old fogey of an iPhone that still runs on Edge is faster than Chris's 3G iPhone at opening his door every single time. Other things it beats Chris's phone at: finding things on maps, being good looking, etc.

2) Because the door button was right next to a lot of other important buttons on my iPhone, I often accidentally opened his door. Fortunately there's a webcam pointed at it so I could check if I'd left it open, but there have definitely been "hold on, I just accidentally opened Chris's door" occasions during phone calls.

3) This also happened with other people playing with the door, especially while I was napping.

4) An earlier version of the secret knock consisted of banging the top of the door really hard. Another enjoyable occurrence during naptime.

5) An actual quote from Chris, upon visiting my room: "Your door is so ANALOG(UE)!"

Chris wrote up a more technical explanation of his door (the "iDoor") on his blog, as well as submitted the video to Hack A Day. (In response to whoever commented, "that might even be impressive to whoever he comes stumbling back to his room with", I would just like the say that it was, but I was more impressed by the fact that he got an A+ in 6.033.)

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

Fact: I have never accidentally opened Chris's door.

Posted by: Keri on July 7, 2009

fact: I have purposely opened Chris's door ... without his permission. (he didn't do super-well at hiding the URL of the then-not-so-secure web site that did so).

fact: I still have never accidentally opened his door.

Posted by: donaldGuy on July 8, 2009

oh boy! and they said such 1337 n3rdiness will never get you laid... raspberry

Posted by: 0 on July 8, 2009

Perhaps we can use hydraulics, iphones, and secret knocks to end the constant battle over the toilet seat being up or down.

Posted by: AMH on July 8, 2009

Who the hell is Chris?

Posted by: Monkey King on July 8, 2009

Fact: I have totally opened Chris' door by accident.
Fact: I will probably do so more next year because Rfong has it now

Posted by: Chris B. '12 on July 8, 2009

the door is way more secure now! it has a total of 3 extra numbers in the URL.

also, any course 6er spells 'analogue', analog...even when speaking =)

Posted by: another chris on July 8, 2009

How did he learn to do this?

Posted by: Phillip on July 8, 2009

is that burton conner?

Posted by: 0 on July 8, 2009

Nah. That Is EC, 5Dubs to be precise

Posted by: Chris B. '12 on July 8, 2009

Oh my eff, I'm working on a similar project right now. Must be a Chris thing....

Posted by: Chris M. on July 9, 2009


Posted by: Kahlil on July 9, 2009

how much did that cost to do? I might want to automate my door...

Posted by: 0 on July 9, 2009

That has to be one of the greatest things I've ever seen.

Posted by: Jennie ('14 hopeful) on July 9, 2009


holy shit, there are ('14 hopefuls) already commenting all over the place, zomg zomg, we're graduating soon! ~~

back to reality.

Posted by: omar on July 9, 2009

i'm slightly tempted to post the link right now just to see how many people would click on it, and then change the URL in an hour or so...

Posted by: rfong '12 on July 9, 2009

Haha I want that in my room, but with a ridiculous secret knock that I only know.

Posted by: Vinay ('14?) on July 9, 2009

I didn't know A+s existed at MIT. Fuck that.

Posted by: Christina on July 9, 2009

When did 5th west become 5Dubs? No one tells me anything....

Posted by: boo on July 10, 2009

Can you tell us more about how it works? Pleasepleaseplease? I get really curious about cool things like this.

Posted by: 0 on July 10, 2009

Of course he invited you to his room to show off his door. I mean, he even invited me (along with a group of 5 or maybe 8 other freshmen during REX, all of whom were duly impressed).

Posted by: Lainers '12 on July 11, 2009

dheera did this way before chris raspberry

Posted by: 0 on July 12, 2009

Um Im going to a engineer high school what is the requirements for me the get in high school so that i can attend MIT , it seems preety cool and fun Email me Bye.

Posted by: Malcolm Jack on July 12, 2009

Man this is the coolest place i have ever seen.
U can modify your dorms....... Awesome!!!!
If we do this kinda thing here in India
we'd be thrown out in no time.
One more reason to try my best for MIT

Posted by: Rohan Saini on July 13, 2009

@Rohan: Yup MIT is amazin alright!!! So when r u applying 2010?

Posted by: Shiv on July 13, 2009

this is totally fantastic. like whoever (Chris) thought up the idea for a door that can be opened with an iPhone is my new hero. this almost solely inspired to work my butt off to get in...

Posted by: Sarah on July 13, 2009

@shiv yeah I'll be applying in 2010

Posted by: Rohan Saini on July 13, 2009

We used to do stuff like this 40 years ago!
We did it by Ham Radio...
We could flush a toilet 3000 miles away!

Posted by: FiOS-Dave on July 14, 2009


Posted by: Faith on July 15, 2009

I like it.

Posted by: Raff on July 15, 2009

I vote you post the URL. I'm sure that would turn out... "well"... >;)

Posted by: Juliette on July 15, 2009

Comments have been closed.