They say don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but this present Tokyo-based university Aoyama Gakuin gives to students in the School of Social Informatics does have a significant catch. The present in question is an iPhone the students get for free.
And the catch is that the iPhone will basically be used as a tracking device with which the university can control if its students are physically on campus or not (the main goal is to prevent cheating during roll calls). But the phone will also be used for digital lectures (podcasts), doing homework and taking tests (Japan is the world’s leading mobile nation for a reason).
550 students and staff members received the free devices last Friday. Aoyama Gakuin says that this is just a soft launch and plans to make full use of the system this autumn when the new semester starts. The university covers the basic fee for the iPhone (the hardware itself is “free” in Japan anyway), but students will have to pay when they exceed downloading limits.