Are smart cubes allowed in WCA competitions?

Posted by Daniel Evans on

Smart cubes have increased in popularity in recent years and many companies have tried to make their own versions. The most popular smartcubes have certainly been the Gan Smart cubes such as the Gan I3, these connect to an app and allow speedcubers to compete against each other all around the world (however, most of the time you are actually matched against a bot). Gan also ran an unofficial competition in China solely using smartcubes which saw Yiheng Wang get a solve of 2.7 seconds!

It is important to remember that these smartcubes are banned in official WCA competitions as they could be used maliciously.

The WCA regulations state:

3a4) Puzzles must not have electronic components (e.g. Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, motors, sensors, lights). See Regulation 2i.

The reasons for this should be obvious: if you have an app that can track the moves that are being applied to your cube then you can see the exact scramble sequence and while your cube is being transported you could learn the reverse of the scramble or at least have some idea of the scramble prior to your 15 seconds of inspection time.

Gan smart cubes all have a different center cap design, this allows the scramblers at competitions to easily spot smartcubes if competitors ever attempt to compete with them, however, the recent MoYu AI does not have any obvious signs from the surface of the puzzle, the only sign is a flashing light inside the puzzle which could probably be removed.

It is therefore important for scramblers to be vigilant and if someone does ever randomly pull out some crazy solution then I can rest assured that the World Cube Association will disqualify them.

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