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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

iDoor by Jess K. '10

Opening your boyfriend's dorm room door? There's an app for that.

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.)

31 responses to “iDoor”

  1. AMH says:

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

  2. Keri says:

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

  3. Monkey King says:

    Who the hell is Chris?

  4. donaldGuy says:

    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.

  5. Chris B. '12 says:

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

  6. Anonymous says:

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

  7. 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 =)

  8. Phillip says:

    How did he learn to do this?

  9. Anonymous says:

    is that burton conner?

  10. Chris B. '12 says:

    Nah. That Is EC, 5Dubs to be precise

  11. rfong '12 says:

    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…

  12. Chris M. says:

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

  13. Vinay ('14?) says:

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

  14. Kahlil says:


  15. Anonymous says:

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

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

  17. omar says:


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

    back to reality.

  18. Christina says:

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

  19. boo says:

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

  20. Anonymous says:

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

  21. Lainers '12 says:

    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).

  22. Malcolm Jack says:

    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.

  23. Anonymous says:

    dheera did this way before chris raspberry

  24. Rohan Saini says:

    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

  25. Shiv says:

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

  26. Rohan Saini says:

    @shiv yeah I’ll be applying in 2010

  27. FiOS-Dave says:

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

  28. Sarah says:

    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…

  29. Raff says:

    I like it.

  30. Juliette says:

    I vote you post the URL. I’m sure that would turn out… “well”… >;)