Your school

A couple of years ago, the story broke about the Gates Foundation giving a grant to some very interesting research (well, the aim of the research might have been more interesting part):

the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is spending about $1.1 million to develop a way to physiologically measure how engaged students are by their teachers’ lessons. This involves “galvanic skin response” bracelets that kids would wear so their engagement levels could be measured.1

Luckily, it all turned out to be “a mistake”, as the Foundation’s spokespeople quickly re-wrote the purpose of the research to only be a pilot study for a minor number of students2 (well, quickly as in “six months after the grant was awarded and only after it became an issue in the news”).

So, from 9-10 years old an onwards you’re going to wear an IoT bracelet to school everyday, keeping track on your every physical response. Meaning every time you daydream it’ll show up on your big data record, and cross-referencing fright-and-flight response with nearby bracelets can easily reveal both your bullies and your crushes (the latter can, in turn, out you if you’re closeted).

The possibilities are, well, endless…

The specific grant page has since disappeared from the foundation’s website. In fact, you can’t even find a single mention of the “GSR bracelets” there3.

That’s probably a good thing, cause while I’m all for evaluating the academic process via measuring student response, bio-tracking every kid in the country isn’t scientific, it’s just engineering.


  1. Washington Post (8 trackers)
  2. Washington Post (8 trackers)
  3. Gates Foundation (3 trackers)