Japanese University Tracks Attendance via iPhone

Are you a university professor having trouble keeping track of which students are attending your classes and which ones are blowing them off? Well, Japan's Aoyama Gakuin University has a plan for you, using one of the most desired electronic devices around to sucker, we mean, give students an incentive to attend.

The plus of joining the project: a free iPhone. And while it's sneaky, students have to know "how" to participate, so it's not like the University can hide the way the project works. The project is being tested right now, with a formal launch in June. 550 first- and second-year students and some staff are participating.

As students enter the room, instead of writing their name on an attendance sheet, they type in their ID number and a specific class number into an iPhone application. The application uses GPS location data and checks which router the students are logged in to to make sure they don't log in from their rooms.

While professor Yasuhiro Iijima demonstrated the application, he told Reuters:
"We don't want to use this to simply take attendance. Our hope is to use this to develop a classroom where students and teachers can discuss various topics."
Of course, students will go to enormous lengths to avoid attending class. You could just hand your iPhone to someone else, couldn't you?
Tags:  Apple, iPhone, GPS, Japan