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'Mobile Doorman' App Gives Apartment Dwellers More Control

By Paul Biasco | August 26, 2014 7:48am
 Bob Matteson (l.) and Graham Gilbert, co-founders of Mobile Doorman.
Bob Matteson (l.) and Graham Gilbert, co-founders of Mobile Doorman.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LINCOLN PARK — Mobile Doorman, a new app that launched in its first Chicago apartment building this month, puts the control of everything from package deliveries to visits from friends into the palm of your hand.

The app acts as a middle man between tenants, the building's doorman and maintenance workers.

Instead of a doorman having to call each resident in a building who receives a package, the app can send a push notification directly to their phones.

If a guest is expected, a tenant can send an alert to the front desk ahead of time.

It's a simple application, but one that is lacking in the market, according to co-founders Bob Matteson and Graham Gilbert.

The creators tell DNAinfo Radio the app will help you pay rent, know when the laundry machine is open, and more:

So far Gilbert and Matteson have signed up six buildings and are in the process of rolling out individual apps for each.

Infinite Chicago, a private student housing building in the loop, is the first Chicago building to adopt the app.

"We just think it should be easier for residents to manage their apartment living on their phone," Matteson, 32, said. "You have an app for banking. You have an app for getting a cab, for games."

The application, which the owners of buildings pay a yearly fee to provide to their tenants, also has a community message board for residents of a building.

In the first few weeks of use at Infinite Chicago the message board helped a resident find a neighbor with a screwdriver, helped plan a video game tournament and served as a digital cork board for someone selling a One Direction ticket.

In the somewhat near future the developers hope to incorporate sensors that will let tenants know how many people are in a building's workout facility and how many washers and dryers are available at any given time.

The co-founders of the app are Lincoln Park residents who have been friends since they were 5 years old.

While their company is in the early stages, Matteson and Gilbert hope that hundreds of buildings across the country, and possibly the globe, are using their app a year from now.

"That's the dream, but you've got to dream big, right?" Matteson said.

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