The State of Colorado has taken the next logical step in the evolution of mobile ID technology: letting users add virtual stickers to their virtual identity documents. The stickers, officially dubbed “affinity icons”, are meant to let mobile ID users indicate their personal interests through their virtual IDs, with virtual stickers dedicated to depicting activities like skiing or fishing, among other options.
Speaking to Denver’s Westword, a spokesperson for the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology explained that Governor Jared Polis had come up with the idea of letting residents personalize their IDs during a recent redesign of the state ID. “Driver licenses and IDs are an essential piece of our identity, and the DMV wanted to add a personal touch,” she explained.
The mobile ID itself, meanwhile, has practical uses. It can be used as official ID in traffic stops, it can store fishing and parks licenses, and it can be used to renew a driver’s license or state-issued ID, among other functions. It’s a pioneering state initiative as a growing patchwork of mobile ID systems emerges across the country.
That, in turn, reflects a global trend, with various governments having recently launched or announced plans for mobile ID systems. Europe has been a hotbed of excitement this month thanks in large part to the announcement of the Nordic-Baltic eID Project and a separate digital ID project in Finland.
In the US, mobile ID momentum has been led by a big-name private sector player. Apple has been working with a number of states to establish a mobile ID system that operates on the iPhone and the Apple Watch, and while it has only been launched in Arizona so far, it has the support of the Transportation Security Administration.
Colorado, for its part, has not been working with Apple – at least not publicly. Its mobile ID system is available for both iOS and Android.