Remember in Old School where Vince Vaughn's character is helping his entire fraternity cheat on an exam by whispering into his shirt? Well, that kind of technology isn't strictly for spy movies or Back to the Future anymore.
Classes are back in session, and we're guessing you've already begun devising your no-fail cheats for the semester. But with schools cracking down on cheating, and hawk-like proctors watching students during exams, test takers have had to get creative with the ways they cheat. Sure, crib sheets hidden in ties, sleeves, socks, and the hair of the person in front of you might seem different, but they've been done.
While we don't necessarily condone cheating, we scoured the Internet in search of the most high-tech ways students might be inclined to cheat this school year, and what we found might surprise you. Put away your cell phones, pagers, and iPods. These are much cooler -- and sneakier.
We didn't say all of these methods would be easy. If you can find a way to wear sunglasses during a test, though, you're golden. These shades come with a pinhole digital camera, mini-DV micro video camcorder, stereo MP3 Player, Bluetooth headset, built in earphones, USB interface, and 4GB of memory. The ways you can cheat with these are virtually endless. Our favorite: connecting the high-quality Polaroid lens to a laptop with the built-in USB.
Leave it to someone as crafty as the Europeans to come up with an almost invisible earpiece with Bluetooth capabilities created specifically for "passing exams and making speeches or negotiations." We're not sure what kind of sketchy "negotiations" you'd need to make, but this earpiece works well for a do-it-yourself crib sheet. Just insert the piece in your ear and hook it up to your cell phone or iPod, and you can have someone tell you the answers via cell phone, or listen to your own pre-recorded message. The how-to video demonstrates how simple this really is, and -- to be completely honest -- we can't see the earpiece once it's inside the ear. You can get the regular-size one for $227.40 or spring for the "nano," a much smaller piece, for $367.15.
Celluon LaserKey CL850 Bluetooth Wireless Virtual Keyboard, $169
If you like your cheating with a little intrigue à la Minority Report, you'd probably be more inclined to spring for a virtual keyboard. It's typically used by people who prefer a full-size keyboard when using a smart phone, but we envision it as a handy device when typing text-message answers to tests. After installing the tiny projector into your cell phone, type away on the bare desk. It would probably work best if you sit in the back of a large auditorium, though.
These headphones would probably work well only if you have hair long enough to cover your ears. They were first marketed as the perfect headphones for extreme exercise, but we figure they work just as well for listening in on answers. Just use them with your cell phone or MP3 player, and play back answers or previously recorded class lectures with no one being the wiser. Granted, they're a bit expensive. But the fact that they're compatible with all MP3, DVD, CD players, and iPods makes them multifunctional and a bit more worth the hefty price tag.
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Casio DBC150-1 Data Bank Watch, $69.95
This watch might appear to be the lowest of the high-tech offerings on this list. It looks like a timepiece straight out of the '80s, but with a 150-page data bank allowing for eight letters and 12 numerals per page, it definitely fits the bill. This would probably work best for multiple-choice tests because of the limited capabilities, but with 24 time zones, a daily alarm, a countdown timer, a stopwatch, an auto calendar, an eight-digit calculator, and memory protection, it's probably the safest bet. After all, what professor would think of a watch as a crib sheet?
If this is all too costly for your starving-student budget, you can always grab a Coke bottle, write your notes on the back of the label, and drink up. The answers will magically appear in front of your eyes.