Elsewhere – Princeton students engineer fingerprint entrance to dorm room

(U-WIRE) PRINCETON, N.J.-Dan Halpern-Leister ’07 no longer fumbles for his keys when he approaches his Princeton University dorm room. He touches a computer mouse mounted on the wall, then presses his forefinger to a touchpad. Inside a computer whirs, and the door to 232 Clapp Hall unlocks.

Halpern-Leister and hallmate Alec Chapman ’07 engineered the door to respond to the touch of the four roommates.

Halpern-Leistner had the idea in September and worked on it throughout fall semester. The fingerprints of Halpern-Leister and his three roommates-sophomores Yeong Dae Kwon, Marcus Lampert and Mark Salzman-are programmed as valid entries.

Chapman joined the project in November, and the two finished on Feb. 18.

The device’s recognition capability is made possible by a fingerprint reader, most likely designed for office employees to log onto their own computers without typing. Halpern-Leistner purchased it on eBay for less than $30.