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Fanboy gets ticket for using Apple Watch while driving

Technically Incorrect: A Quebec man who says he was using the smartwatch to operate his music gets a $120 fine.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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A self-confessed Apple fanboy gets a slap on the wrist. CTV/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It seems but a romantic memory when a woman driving while wearing Google Glass got a ticket in San Diego from the California Highway Patrol.

Two years later, here we are with a report that a man has received a ticket for driving while Watching.

Canada's CTV reported that Jeffrey Macesin on Monday received a $120 ticket for operating his car's music through his Apple Watch.

Even greater a blemish on his character, perhaps, was the fact that he was given four "demerit points" -- a phrasing that makes it sound like he will have to stand in a corner facing a wall for a lengthy piece of time.

"I have [the iPhone] in the bag charging while the auxiliary cable is plugged in to the radio and [the smartwatch] controls my phone to play the music," Macesin told CTV. "So I was changing songs with my hand on the steering wheel." He described his system as "cool" and "awesome."

He said he assumed that as long as his hand was on the wheel, he was committing no infraction.

The cop reportedly relied on Section 439.1 of the Quebec Highway Safety Code. It reads: "No person may, while driving a road vehicle, use a handheld device that includes a telephone function."

Macesin said he was one of the "crazies" who made sure he got his Apple Watch on the launch day, April 24. (The smartwatch is Apple's first new product category since the iPad was introduced in 2010.) He added: "I'm an Apple guy. This is my life." Yes, he was holding up some Apple gadgets when he said it.

Macesin also said his smartwatch even told him there were police in his vicinity while he was driving. He has the crowdsourcing traffic app Waze. He simply wasn't expecting the police's ways.

He said he believes the Apple Watch isn't handheld. After all, it's hand-worn. Well, wrist-worn. So he's taking the matter into his own hands and contesting the ticket.

This is precisely what Cecilia Abadie did in the San Diego Google Glass case. She won.

Some will be wondering what the police would have said if he was merely changing the time on an old-fashioned watch. People used to do that all the time, if their watch was running slow.

Macesin wondered whether the police officer had Superman vision to see what he was actually doing. I have contacted the Surete de Quebec -- the Montreal police -- to ask how the police officer could see so clearly and will update, should I hear.

For his part, Macesin simply believes the issue should be discussed and a clear conclusion reached.

I wonder if he'll carry on controlling his music through his watch at the wheel.

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