Students at some campuses will soon have less of an excuse to be late for class – and one more reason to sport a watch, or at least an Apple Watch.
Beginning on Tuesday, students wearing Apple Watch’s at Duke University, and the University of Alabama and University of Oklahoma, can transform their techie timepieces into their student IDs.
Students can use the watch (in conjunction with Apple Pay) to securely buy books, grab a meal, do laundry or, even in some cases, access dorms, the gym or college library.
Students merely hold the watch near an NFC (Near-field communication) reader, just like an ID, in the places their student IDs are accepted, both on and off campus.
The IDs, though, are not limited to watch wearers. Students who don’t wear the Apple Watch but carry an iPhone can store their IDs in the Wallet app on the handset, and similarly use their phones to transact or to access campus facilities.
In both instances, of course, the idea is that students can leave physical wallets behind.
Apple has been trying to replace the physical wallet by pushing the Wallet app as a place to store transit cards, loyalty cards and tickets to various events. We’re not at the point yet, though, at which the Wallet app can hold your driver’s license, a big reason many people can’t retire their wallets yet.
Students at Duke, UA and OU must have iOS 12 on their iPhones and watchOS 5 software on the Apple Watch to take advantage of this digital ID system.
Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara and Temple universities plan to bring the Apple Watch/student ID capability to their campuses by the end of the year, Apple says.
How soon this capability comes to other colleges and universities remains to be seen, but Apple is working with Blackboard, a technical partner with hundreds of educational clients that is helping to enable the tech on campuses. According to Blackboard, institutions will be able to issue – and manage – mobile credentials quickly and remotely to the student devices.
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