Gizmo busts students cheating on smartphones

The PocketHound can notify teachers when a students uses a cell phone. (Courtesy of Berkeley Varitronics Systems)

WASHINGTON – Cheaters never prosper – but that lesson doesn’t keep some students from trying to beat the system.

A new gadget helps teachers know when students are cheating in class by texting, sending photos and email on their cellphones.

Approximately the size of a deck of cards, The PocketHound is a portable cellphone detector that vibrates and lights up whever there’s a transmission from a nearby mobile phone.

Made by Berkeley Varitronics Systems, the device scans cellphone bands and is able to distinguish cellular activity from ambient RF noise.

The company says the device is also suitable in jails, where cellphones are considered contraband, to boardrooms to prevent corporate espionage.

The PocketHound costs about $500.

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