Tech Tidbits: Nike, Apple Offer FuelBand Refunds

The Nike+ FuelBand fitness tracker was one of the earliest entrants in the now-crowded wearable technology field, and now Nike and Apple are paying for their speed to market. The athletic and technology giants have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the companies made “false and/or misleading statements regarding the Nike+ FuelBand’s ability to accurately track calories [and] steps,” according to nikefuelbandsettlement.com. The companies have denied the allegations and claimed no wrongdoing, but will still give partial refunds of either a $15 payment or $25 Nike gift cards to anyone who files a claim and has purchased the fitness tracker between Jan. 19, 2012, and June 17, 2015.

In spring of 2014, Nike halted development of its FuelBand device (which Apple helped develop) and laid off the majority of staffers in its digital fitness department. The company has refocused on software, including its Nike+ Running app, a featured app on the Apple Watch.  The company says it has over 60 million digital fitness software users.

Universities Flag Smartwatches For Cheating Potential

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that universities in Australia are asking students to remove their watches before final exams. One university in Sydney required students to put all wristwatches in clear bags under their desks, while another in Melbourne allowed students to place traditional watches on their desk but barred all smartwatches from the room.

The Australian universities are not alone – multiple schools in England have banned the devices as well. Eric Klopfer, director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the Chronicle that similar measures will soon come to American universities. In addition, he said there has been a greater effort to create tests that focus less on memorization, and thus create less danger of storing answers on smart devices. “As we get better at our educational system, it will seem less likely we need to ban these things,” he said, “because the kinds of things we’ll be putting on an exam, students won’t be able to store on a watch.”