Forward-looking: Bringing the student ID into the digital age feels like something that should have happened years ago. Nevertheless, it's here now and assuming these pilot programs are successful, we'll likely see support expanded to additional campuses and device types in the coming years.
Students at Duke University, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma can add their student IDs to Apple Wallet and use their iPhone or Apple Watch in place of their physical ID card both on and off campus.
Apple announced support for contactless student ID cards in Wallet on Tuesday, citing it as an easy, convenient and secure experience. Cupertino is working with educational technology company Blackboard on the NFC-enabled contactless technology.
Anyone that has spent time on campus knows that the student ID card is an integral part of campus life. Most schools use ID cards as a way for students to access residence halls, pay for meals, get into football games and so on. With digital IDs, students will have one less thing to keep track of.
It makes a lot of sense for Apple to work with higher education institutes to expand its Wallet program as young people are often early adopters of technology.
Students at the aforementioned schools can use digital ID cards starting today while those at Santa Clara, Johns Hopkins and Temple Universities will have capabilities added by the end of the year. If successful (and I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be), expect digital ID cards to make their way to more campus in the near future.