The Apple Watch hasn’t even hit the street yet and already there are concerns regarding the device’s potential for iffy usage. Several universities have expressed worry and even gone as far as to pre-emptively ban smartwatches, but that’s not the only kind of cheating the Apple Watch could encourage…
Traditional cheating, just a tap away
For the traditional ‘get a helping hand with exams’ kind of cheat, the Watch is an ideal and subtle tool. For instance, Apple’s built-in ‘Sketch’ feature could allow students to covertly communicate answers to one another during tests, by either sketching or scribbling answers which are then sent over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to another Apple Watch wearer.
Then there’s the ‘Tap’ feature, which translates screen taps from one user into tiny vibrations on another user’s wrist. So the more dedicated/intellectual exam cheat could even use Morse Code or some other personal secret code to chat with fellow rule breakers.
However, exam moderators aren’t the only ones who need to worry about Apple’s wrist rocket. The Watch could also be a perfect tool for cheating boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives to get some sweaty bonus action without leaving a digital trace.
Apple Watch’s Heartbeat function allows you to send an animation of your beating heart, simply by pressing your fingers on the screen. Apple claims it’s a “simple and intimate way to tell someone how you feel”, but the cynics amongst us reckon it’s also a very discreet and sneaky way for office romancers to page their lover for a clandestine fumble in the stationery cupboard.
The Apple Watch will also pack a number of simple messaging apps which allow you to send quick notes or emojis to communicate your intentions, with no traces on your smartphone for suspicious spouses to discover. We’re yet to see if there’s any ‘fancy a feel-up?’ emojis to message your partner-in-crime, but we’re sure there’s at least one that can be misinterpreted.
The flip side
Smartwatches have been around for a while of course, but Apple’s product has been subject to far more scrutiny than any of them already, simply because of the company’s widespread appeal and ability to grab headlines. Google-driven products have almost all of the same functions (apart from the likes of Tap), but there was very little in the way of outrage when they came to market, simply because they weren’t being pushed out by the world’s favourite tech brand.
There will always be new and interesting ways for people to cheat on their exams (or hook-up with other people they wish to rub genitals with) and while it’s always important to change rules so that they peacefully co-exist with technology, singling out one gadget as the be-all and end-all is a pointless endeavour.
There may be all manner of ways in which the Apple Watch, or any other smartwatch, could facilitate a person’s bad behaviour, but it’ll most likely just be used for sending crudely drawn sketches of penises to friends, complete with the obligatory dotted lines emanating from the crown of course.
That said, if you see your spouse fiddling with their watch before dashing out ‘for the papers’, you might have cause for concern.