As college and university administrators know, students have a tendency to lose or damage their campus ID cards. That can create quite a hassle, especially when cards are used for multiple purposes, such as a dorm key, a meal card, a credit/debit account, and financial aid disbursement.
However, students are a lot less likely to misplace or mishandle their cellphones, their lifeline to all things social. For that reason, Robert C. Huber, a consultant for the campus card industry, predicted as many as 100 campuses will shift to a smartphone-based ID credential by fall 2015, eliminating the need for a plastic card.
Huber’s Campus Card Industry Forecast 2015 says more students will be toting an Apple iPhone 6 than any other smartphone brand, with students at private residential campuses leading the trend. That raises the likelihood that the next big thing will be wearable ID credentials, possibly via the new Apple Watch.
The forecast also sees campus card systems and services moving to the cloud. For those campuses that haven’t yet converted to key cards for residence halls, Huber not only anticipates they’ll do so by 2020, but speculates that security concerns will lead schools to install wireless access on all buildings to better control who roams those halls.