(Technical.ly file photo; source unknown)
For most of her time at Johns Hopkin University, Ting Fang has used student ID card to enter one of the libraries on campus. Once the senior was inside, the “J-card” was also the source for checking out books and printing.
Last week, all of those functions for the physical ID card went to her phone. But not much about the process of gaining entry changed.
“Now with the phone, it’s the same thing. All you have to do is scan it and it lets you walk through into the library,” Fang said.
With an announcement to students on Wednesday, the Baltimore university became the fifth in the country to make student IDs digitally available through Apple Wallet, making the identification available for smartphones and smart watches. It was part of a previously announced partnership that Apple and Blackboard unveiled at WWDC 2018. In other Technical.ly markets, Philly’s Temple University was also in the initial mix.
“Offering a digital ID option reflects our continuing commitment to enhance the services provided to students,” said Kevin G. Shollenberger, the university’s vice provost for student affairs.
Getting around our Homewood campus just got a lot more convenient. Check out what you can now do with J-Card and iPhone, Apple Watch, or Android devices
— Johns Hopkins U. (@JohnsHopkins) March 28, 2019
Under the new functionality, the phone can be placed at any point where a student ID card would’ve been swiped. Taking security into account, the credentials are protected by two-factor identification.
That’s a lot of spots, as ID cards carry something of an all-access pass quality at universities. Along with getting into the library, it’s also the key for gaining entry to a dorm, checking out for a meal in the dining hall, doing laundry or using pre-loaded cash to grab snacks or other goods at stores just off-campus.
But Fang said the J-card wasn’t as automatic to grab when leaving the home as a phone. While the J-card might have been an afterthought, the senior usually has her phone when walking out the door because she’s messaging someone or listening to music.
“I think it makes it a lot easier because I know I always have my phone,” Fang said of the Apple Wallet feature.
Fang is seeing more adoption of these features that allow students to bypass cash and cards, as well.
“Apple Pay has become more prevalent. Now I started using it more and recently I got my friends into it,” Fang said. “I think it’s interesting to see that they’re adapting the Apple Wallet feature on campus.”
It’s available for iPhone 6 and up, Apple Watch Series 1 and up, as well as Android devices.-30-
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