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What Might an Apple Watch for Higher Education Look Like?

An Apple Watch that’s tailored to meet the needs of academics could be the next big thing in higher education. Someday.

The technology giant held an event this week to show off its new device, and that prompted Sylvain Deville, a research scientist at France’s National Center for Scientific Research, to reimagine the Apple Watch as a scholar-friendly device. He called his creation Apple Watch Academia, and shared it on Twitter with the fake promotion “Science. In real time.”

His version of the Apple Watch would have it all: the ability to read PDFs, caffeine sensors signaling when you’ve gone a whole hour without coffee, alerts on the status of your paper — if it’s accepted, you get a light tap, but if it’s rejected, you get an electrical shock to “remind you to work harder next time.”

Though Mr. Deville uses Apple products, he said he doesn’t see the point of the Apple Watch, which can cost up to $17,000.

“Even though I’m quite active on social media and stuff, I’m quite in favor of slowing down and thinking about how we spend our time and where we put our attention, and this just seems to be the opposite of what I’m actually looking for,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Deville isn’t the only one taking to Twitter to comment, or even mock, academic life. He said he’d noticed several popular hashtags poking fun at the world of higher education recently.

At the bottom of Mr. Deville’s promotion, it says, “Have some grant money left? Indulge yourself with the Watch PI Edition.” Mr. Deville said it’s becoming very difficult to get grants, so the idea of spending it on an item as expensive as the fictitious Apple Watch Academia would be quite ridiculous.

Mr. Deville said that he enjoyed seeing people react to his tweet and that he’s glad other academics found it relatable. Many people responded to his tweet, saying that its portrayal of academics was spot on. After all, it’s not hard to find an academic addicted to coffee.

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