Tap Test

Lily G. Bellow

With the new swipe card system, Harvard students can get creative with entering

After 15 years of the infamous swipe card, Harvard has finally joined its peers and upgraded to the new and improved contactless Smartcard. No more will students be forced to dig through pockets and bags to get out their swipe—proximity to the card reader is all that is needed. But how good are these Smartcards really? FM put them through the gauntlet to see how they fare.

The Distance Test

The Challenge: Sure, these new Smartcards look legit, but can they go the distance?

The Results: In highly scientific and accurate trials conducted across campus (sample size n=1), it was found that Smartcards work from distances of up to 1.75 inches from the reader. This bit of information is completely useless as most will probably smash their ID up against the reader anyway.

The Through-the-Shoe Test

The Challenge: After a nice jog along the Charles, the last thing anyone wants to do is untie his dirty gym shoe and take out his swipe card. But can these new Smartcards work through layers of rubber?

The Results: No more shoe untying for us, the Smartcards passed the test.

The Through-the-Pocket Test

The Challenge: Perhaps the greatest advantage of these new Smartcards will be watching your fellow Housemates hump the new card readers furiously to open doors without taking their cards out of their pockets. But will their humping be in vain?

The Result: Hump away!

The Through-the Wallet Test

The Challenge: In a similar vein to the previous challenge, will backing your derrière into the card reader only result in failed entry?

The Result: Back that thang up.