This Room-Monitoring Smart Door Lets Fresh Air In To Keep You Awake

Have you ever noticed that near the end of a long meeting in a sealed conference room everyone’s a little sleepy? It obviously has nothing to do with your clipart-filled PowerPoint slides — it’s actually related to a build-up of CO2 making it hard for everyone to think and concentrate. It’s an unfortunate by-product of airtight energy-efficient buildings that researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute want to fix.

Their solution: an intelligent door that automatically monitors CO2 levels in a room and prevents them from going beyond 1000 parts per million — a level well before people in a room begin to feel unwell. And the system does this by slightly opening the seal at the bottom of the door, while activating a building’s ventilation system to then help draw stale air out of the room.

The opening at the bottom of the door is discreet enough to still keep conversations inside private, and everything is handled automatically so that the meeting doesn’t have to be interrupted by turning on a fan, opening a window or the snores of your co-workers. [Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft]