Apple Watch leading universities to ban wristwear entirely

Smart watches can't be easily told apart from dumb ones, so invigilators want them to kept out of exam rooms

Andrew Griffin
Friday 06 February 2015 15:59

Universities across the country are moving to ban the wearing of watches to exams in case they’re smart watches, according to reports.

With the release of the Apple Watch in April expected to lead to surging interest in smart watches, invigilators want to be sure that students won’t be able to use their watches to secretly access the internet or to look up information.

The University of London in summer said there had been two reports of smart watches being used in its exams. Though the Apple Watch isn’t set to be released until April, a range of companies already make the internet-enabled, wrist-worn computers — some of which look much like normal, dumb watches.

The university said that it would consider the issues, and that responses could include banning smart watches entirely or guiding invigilators to recognise smart watches. It said that it would decide how to monitor the issue before the exams in summer 2015.

Now other universities are looking to ban the use of watches entirely.

City University has already moved to ban the watches, according university newspaper The Square.

Since university invigilators wouldn’t be able to check all of the watches of every student in a large exam hall, City told BuzzFeed that it would ask students to place watches in clear plastic bags as they already do with the phone. Other universities have already introduced the policy, it said.

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