One of the new features that launched with watchOS 5 is the ability for students to add their ID cards to Apple Watch and use the smartwatch anywhere they can use their cards. Today, Apple is expanding that capability to universities in the U.S., allowing college students to integrate their ID card into Apple Wallet and use the app to pay for lunch and laundry or even to enter their library or dorms.
The new feature initially goes live for students at Duke University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Oklahoma. By the end of this school year, the service is expected to launch in Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara, and Temple Universities.
Regarding the launch of the feature on campuses, Apple’s Vice President of Internet Services Jennifer Bailey said:
When we launched Apple Pay, we embarked on a goal to replace the physical wallet. By adding transit, loyalty cards and contactless ticketing we have expanded the capabilities of Wallet beyond payments, and we’re now thrilled to be working with campuses on adding contactless student ID cards to bring customers even more easy, convenient and secure experiences.
With this new capability, students will be able to gain access to the dining hall, gym, campus events, and other school services using their iPhone or Apple Watch. That means the Apple devices in which Wallet is installed will be accepted by physical readers at campuses designed for student ID cards.
The latest move is part of Apple's continued efforts to bolster its footprint in the education segment. Earlier this year, the Cupertino-based tech giant released low-cost iPads to the students of Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago and education-focused software designed for making ebooks.