A university in Japan is giving out hundreds of iPhones to students, in part to keep truants in check with the GPS system.
Aoyama Gakuin University is handing out 550 3G iPhones to those enrolled in the School of Social Informatics and, much like its growing use in other colleges, it’ll be used as a research tool (press release in Japanese, or semi-comprehensible Google-translated English) and to give out information on class schedules and lectures.
Attendance is a key requirement for graduation in Japan, the AP reports, so the cat-and-mouse game of skipping class and getting someone to sign-in for you or put a hand up during roll call is rampant. The school plans to give out another 500 iPhones for a total of 1,000 to complete the program after a test phase.
Not sure how effective this will be. Students who are determined to sleep in or play hooky could hand the iPhone to a friend and get on with it. Seems easier, and in some ways less deceitful, than getting someone to pretend they’re you or fake a signature.
Would you take the free iPhone in exchange for being monitored?
Photo from the iPhone project press conference courtesy @ Aoyama Gakuin University