Universities up and down the country are banning wristwatches in exams. You may not be surprised to learn the culprit: Apple. Yes, its Watch means that students are now able to cheat more conveniently and stylishly than ever before, at least as far as people who run universities are concerned.
Last year the University of London identified the potential problem, releasing a statement saying, "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."
As the 2015 exam period looms it appears to have become a significant problem, with several institutions taking action against wrist-worn devices. At Queen Mary, only electronic watches are banned, while at Oxbridge, devices are subject to an "examination from invigilators".
Several institutions, such as City University of London, have decided to impose a blanket ban on wristwatches, even stopping students from wearing more traditional timepieces.
A spokesperson from City University has said, "Last year, colleagues and invigilators raised the issue of how we would identify a smartwatch in an examination setting. In large exam venues, with over 100 students, it simply wouldn't be practical to ask invigilators to check each watch."
Could we see exam applications in the future based on smartwatch policy? We doubt it, but as The Guardian has reported, the new policies are causing significant amounts of stress to students, especially those who are shortsighted. It's also a bit ridiculous to mention the Apple Watch specficially as it doesn't do much that's of use to a cheat unless teathered to an iPhone, which are already barred from exam rooms for obvious reasons. A Pebble Steel? Now you're talking…