How to Create an Internet Connected Dorm Room
BY ALEX HASLAM
Today’s college students grew up with the internet, so living a connected life is a given. Students use the internet for a broad variety of reasons, and more and more devices are creating ways to connect. Now more than ever, there are plenty of ways students can utilize all that technology to build safe, helpful, and meaningful spaces to study and relax, even in a cramped dorm room. Here are a few of the best:
Craft a study environmentStudying is one of the most important things students do while in college. It can also be one of the hardest. Luckily, smart technologies can help make the process easier and more organized, all within a connected dorm room system.
Bluetooth-connected smart speakers allow students to connect to digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, which can turn on study playlists, conduct searches, adjust calendars, and more hands-free, adding convenience to a study setup.
If students will be studying with others but don’t want to invite a whole study group into their dorm, it’s simple to connect over the internet using video chat services like Skype or Zoom. Students can also share documents via internet-based applications like Google Drive to make sure that even those who are joining in remotely can edit documents in real-time.
Create a relaxing atmosphere
In the midst of stress from classes, internships, and busy social lives, students need a place to relax, and a dorm room can provide that space. Of course, the blank walls and bright lights that dorm rooms are typically equipped with provide a harsh background for attempts at relaxation, especially in those which lack windows. Thankfully, connected tech provides control over lighting conditions to help create a perfect sanctuary even in the most basic dorm.
Smart bulbs allow users to adjust lighting, set schedules, and even turn lights off and on remotely. For relaxation purposes, however, it’s especially useful to use these bulbs to adjust lighting “temperatures” and colors. Choosing a softer shade of white or a cool color, like green or blue, brings a calming feeling to a room.
Build a safe space
One thing students may worry about in a dorm-style living situation is security. With people coming in and out of the building all the time, keeping individual dorms safe is a big concern. Beyond that, keeping on top of things like fire safety should be at the top of the minds of both dorm residents and housing supervisors.
With this in mind, connecting rooms to the internet using smart home alarm systems is key to ensuring safety, whether from dorm room break-ins or other hazards. Many of these systems allow users to check in on camera feeds and alarm statuses from anywhere using mobile devices. They can also often be integrated into larger smart home systems to become part of a fully connected dorm experience. Best of all, the peace-of-mind and security they provide can help college students living in dorms feel secure whether they’re in their room or away.
Living in a dorm can be an exciting experience, but it’s also important to make sure that room is being used to its fullest potential. Smart technology can make that happen. By providing safety, study tools, and peace to students, a connected dorm can create a successful living experience during college.
Alex Haslam graduated from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah in 2017. Today she is a freelance writer who focuses on consumer technology, entertainment, and higher education.