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Northeastern University goes big with contactless lockers

Hidden below Northeastern University in Boston is a network of tunnels that serve as a passageway for students traversing between key buildings on campus. Unlike the famous tunnels in other cities, these don’t hold catacombs and no Phantom lurks within. Instead Northeastern’s tunnels house one of the world’s leading deployments of advanced contactless lockers.

On winter days or rainy evenings, the 16,000 square-foot underground network is particularly appreciated by students. It links 11 major locations above ground, including academic buildings, residence halls, gyms and libraries.

As a part of a facelift that included new energy efficient lighting and colorful directional signage to facilitate travel, the popular – and sometimes hard to obtain – student lockers were upgraded and expanded.

The networked contactless lockers from Gantner Technologies are used around the world at athletic clubs and spas, ski resorts, corporate centers and universities. And in the summer of 2016, Gantner added another university to its user base with the installation of more than 1,200 new lockers at Northeastern.

All 1,286 of the tunnel’s lockers are larger than their predecessors  –  now 3 foot by 2 foot. Each locker is marked with a letter and number code, identifying its location within the tunnel system.

Students rent the lockers through the university’s myNEU portal and use their student ID – the Husky Card – as the contactless key for locking and unlocking. The lockers are rented on a per-semester basis, and thanks to the Gantner locker management software no staff interaction is required to sign up for or operate a locker.

At the myNEU student portal, all available lockers can be viewed. The student selects the locker of their choice, and the locker is linked to the unique ID number of the individual’s Husky Card. For the remainder of the semester, only that contactless card can provide access to the locker.

The Gantner locking system guarantees the safety of belongings by delivering networked alarms to maintenance and security staff if vandalism is detected. The software also provides locker usage reports, remote locker control and occupancy monitoring.

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