They did surgery on an iClicker

“This is against some UBC policy.” Courtesy Reddit

Watch out Elon Musk, reddit user moomoo1234509876 can now put your Teslas to shame. Explore their Reddit post from May 9 and open yourself up to a world of evil potential by creating an automated iClicker. The only snag is that you’ll have to get your engineering friends to help you because none of us Arts/Science/LFS scum really know what “DDOS the basestation” means.

How does this work? Reddit user AgreeableLandscape3 explains, “they’re using a very simple computer called an Arduino to automatically click the buttons on the iClicker.”

This would allow the user to remotely send in iClicker responses and potentially skip lectures and still acquire participation points and/or quiz points.

But how does it know the correct quiz answers, you might ask? The device cannot yet do this, but apparently it can be engineered to pick up on the most popular answer choice and have the ability to then transmit a signal so the iClicker will also send in the same answer. Another more advanced version of this, called an iSkipper, has been created by two Cornell University students who even explain how to reverse engineer an iClicker for these purposes.

The automated iClicker has raised questions about an “iClicker arms race” in the 21st century, as pointed out by Reddit user cynber_mankei. Imagine ongoing Cold War tensions taking place within the confines of your EOSC class. You could tell your grandkids: “I remember when there were warring factions within the Engineering department and there was a very real threat of mutually assured destruction. Our civilization was on the brink of collapse.” “Oh no! Nuclear Armageddon?” “Yes. My 10 per cent worth of participation points were at stake. Do you realize what that could’ve done to my grades?”

This could also mean that an increase in the use of such devices in the classroom could actually lead to professors discontinuing iClickers and possibly using other online tools such as Kahoot or Tophat or the like. If automated iClickers are actually a tiny cog in the larger, much more elaborate scheme of students not having to buy new 22-karat iClickers every year, then maybe it's not all bad.

However, as moomoo1234509876 puts it themselves, “this is against some UBC policy,” so attempt using this device at your own risk.