Residence Life implements Roomie allowing students to view 3D scans of rooms

Residence Life is partnering with a software company giving resident students access to room scans, allowing for pre-planned layout plans before move-in day in Fall 2023.

In the upcoming academic year, residential students will be able to view a 3D scan of their room with the ability to move furniture and view the layout before moving in for the fall 2023 semester.  

Bob Beyer, senior director of residence life and housing, learned of the software, Roomie, at a conference in the summer of 2022.  

“Our department, particularly the website, is lacking in pictures and things to help describe our amenities for students. We have a decent amount, but it could be better,” Beyer said. “Then, I met a company when I was at a conference last summer, Roomie, that said they could offer students a 3D rendering of their room for free.”  

Based on Roomie’s estimate, there are about 180 to 190 unique room types across campus. To gather scans of the rooms, blueprints were given to the company allowing Roomie to figure out which rooms needed to be scanned.   

“They came into each room, brought a 3D camera and set it on a tripod. It scans the room, but it’s not really taking a picture of the room; it’s just scanning it and measuring so that they then take that map of the room and create their own model of the room,” Beyer said.  

The scans were taken over spring break in order to have it operational by the time incoming first-year students select their rooms in June.   

Beyer mentioned that while the software will not be available before returning students select their rooms in the next few weeks, Residence Life is hoping to still be able to give students access when the software is ready over the summer.  

“I wanted to get it started in December so that fewer students would be on campus, but we weren’t done yet because I had to send them all of our floor plans,” Beyer said. “There were many steps in the verification process that took longer than expected.”   

The software only allows students to view the scans after they are assigned to a room and will not allow students to preview a scan of the room during the selection process itself. However, Res Life hopes to keep planning and working on different ways to allow students more resources to better select and understand the different rooms and halls on campus as they select their housing for upcoming years.   

As of now, once a student is able to view their scan of the room, they will have the option to move the provided furniture around to have a better idea of what they can bring and how they want to set their room’s up.   

A marketplace is also available for students to buy additional furniture for their room. However, it is not a requirement to use the service for the University nor the students.   

“It’ll be the exact dimensions of the room including closets, windows, etc. And you can move the beds [and furniture] all the way around,” Beyer said.   

Current resources are available on eRezLife under resources for students to view a select number of blueprints and videos for this year’s housing selection. ERezLife is a platform which allows students to fill out forms and select housing and roommates.  

With Roomie, students will have greater access to their room before fall, hopefully allowing for a smoother transition.   

“It’s a really neat product. I’m glad that it’s a free service because it is really needed for our students, for parents of families because they constantly ask us questions about room dimensions and furniture, so this allows you to just look at it yourself,” Beyer said. “We’re very excited to see what this will bring for everyone.”