To a college student, the student ID card is their entire lifeline. Students use it to get into their residence hall, the fitness center and it’s even used to pay for meals or in some schools it can be used as a key to the dorm room.
Now, imagine this scenario: You’ve gone out to pay for a delicious meal and then realize that your student ID is still sitting in your dorm room. This means that not only was this delicious meal now far out of your reach, it also meant you’re going to have to stand outside your dorm until someone trusted you enough to let you in.
However, Apple has come up with a solution to this problem.
The University of Alabama has embraced the Apple Watch in a big way: In certain circumstances, students who own an Apple Watch can use it to replace their student ID card. Announcing the new changes this week, the university explained that Apple Watch users can use them to access dorms, enter the library, buy dinner, and more.
It’s not only University of Alabama, but six other US universities will be able to use their iPhone or Apple Watch to replace their student ID card from later this year. The announcement was made by Kevin Lynch, vice president of technology at Apple, during the opening event of WWDC 2018.
“The program launches with Duke, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma this fall. Johns Hopkins University, Santa Clara University and Temple University will bring the capability by the end of the year,” Apple says.
“With watchOS 5, Apple Watch replaces student ID cards. With a raise of the wrist, students can gain access to places including the library, dorms and events, and pay for snacks, laundry and dinners around campus simply by adding their ID cards to Wallet on Apple Watch.”
Tuscaloosa News described this support as a pilot program and reported that the university confirmed the plans and detailed the effort last week. Stewart Bell, President of University of Alabama reportedly said that his school has been working on wearable student ID support for a while, but kept the plans under wraps until it was ready to launch.
The support will reportedly be available at a handful of other schools starting in September, including Johns Hopkins and Duke University. Students of Alabama University will have access to the support when the fall semester arrives.
A student can use the system by simply lifting the device and placing it close to the area he or she wants to access or the terminal available where an item, such as a cafeteria dinner, can be acquired.