Stanford University is the latest academic institution to introduce digital IDs. The school will be adding a Mobile Key feature to its existing Stanford Mobile app to allow students to gain access to various campus resources using their phone instead of a physical student ID card.
The Mobile Key utility will be available on both Android and iOS devices. Stanford faculty and staff will be able to start using the tool on June 28, while students will need to wait a few days until July 6. Those who add them to their phones will be able to use their digital ID anywhere they previously needed a physical ID on campus, with the exception of student residences. Those living in on-campus housing will still need to swipe their older ID card to gain access to their building.
The digital keys, on the other hand, will give students several ways to interact with access readers at other campus facilities. Once they are close enough, they can open the Stanford Mobile app and press the ‘Open’ button to unlock doors in a manner similar to a digital car key. They can also tap their phone at a card reader without taking out the app, or take advantage of the Twist & Go Mode, which asks users to place their phone near a card reader and then turn it like a door knob. The latter feature can be activated or deactivated in the app settings.
In addition to unlocking doors, the Mobile Keys can be synced with a meal plan to enable mobile payments at on-campus dining halls. They can similarly be used to pick up print jobs or gain access to various resources through the library. The Mobile Keys are encrypted and can be deactivated remotely to prevent bad actors from trying to break into buildings with a stolen device. However, students do need to file a report to give administrators a chance to revoke access privileges if their phone goes missing.
Of course, Stanford is far from the first school to adopt digital IDs. Transact has provided digital ID services for schools like the University of Texas, while Allegion and CBORD have done the same for Auburn University and the University of Tennessee. Stanford did not name a technology partner in its launch announcement.