Apple's recently revealed Watch may have been one of the technological marvels of the year, but it's clearly not everyone's cup of tea. The Watch is feature-rich, meaning it is capable of a host of things, including things that it isn't meant for. And that, the education system feels, may have adverse effects.
One of the several uses of the Apple Watch, as deduced in a recent report, is helping users cheat in the exams they take at school or college. While in the olden days, cheating used to involve sitting beside the brainiest person in the class and photocopying whatever's on their sheets, technology has made the deal even easier.
Giving smartphones a run for their money on the subject, as of now, colleges and universities are facing a huge challenge indentifying the veracity of their students due to smartwatches. Test takers, with their help, can now easily access notes, message friends for answers or even prudently search for data from the Internet.
The problem related to wearing a smartwatch to an exam hall isn't anything new, though. The basic idea involved, as far as authorities are concerned, is similar to that of a smartphone being used in the hall. While test takers are anyway advised to switch off their phones and keep it away, the same can be expected for smartwatches also.
"Students are already asked to place mobile phones in a plastic wallet under their desk, so we adopted the same procedure for watches. Students either don't wear them to an exam venue, or remove the watch at the venue and place it in the plastic wallet," the University of London told BuzzFeed recently.
"We regularly review exam procedures to ensure that no student has an unfair advantage over any other student. We are really pleased that our students have adopted this new policy so readily," it added.
The new policies related to the use of smartphones and smartwatches in class were already in motion back in 2014. At that time, the university became one of the first to express its fear that students might be using smartwatches for more than keeping a tab on the time.
In fact, two students were caught cheating in the tests using the gadgets during the spring semester. Following that, the university sent a warning to students and informed them that mobile phones, tablets, wearables and other electronic devices weren't allowed in classrooms during exams.
"At this stage it is difficult to know how easy it will be to identify the Apple Watch, or other smartwatches, from standard digital or mechanical timepieces but it is thus possible that smartwatches may become a problem in the examination hall from 2015 and beyond," the university's Academic Committee stated that time.
Currently, Apple's smartwatch collection is set to range in prices from $349 to $17,000 depending on the metals they are made from and the straps they are purchased with. The bigger 42mm (1.7in) models of the Watch will cost about $50 more than the 38mm (1.5in) ones in the lower-priced ranges.
Apple has also revealed that the new smartwatches are due to go on sale on 24 April.