At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showed off one of the more oft-requested features for the Wallet app: support for drivers licenses. Apple hasn’t been shy about this being one of the features it has wanted to bring to iOS for quite some time. And with iOS 15 and watchOS 8, that reality is a reality.
But the company is still in the early stages of support. More than that, though, external agencies and companies need to support actually seeing and reading digital drivers licenses. This is something that Kevin Lynch understand as Apple’s VP of Technology.
He oversees a lot of the development of the Apple Watch, and he recently sat down for an interview with Yahoo Finance. Here, he talks about Apple’s smartwatch and its future support for drivers licenses and additional keys. The executive paints a picture of a future where something like the Apple Watch can be not just your identification, but also your keys — all on your wrist.
You can see what a drivers license will look like (or something similar) when it’s accessible in the Wallet app in the image above. This is what it will look like on the Apple Watch as well, for the most part. Once it shows on the display like this, then users will be able to present their license to whomever they want. This includes the Transportation Security Administration for travel purposes.
During its unveiling, Apple confirmed that it’s working with the TSA to make sure that airports are some of the first places that can read digital licenses. He says, noting that Apple is still early in this:
We’re early on this, obviously. You’ll be able to have it in your Wallet. You can see your ID there like your other cards. And then you can present that if you choose to, for example, TSA.
Unsurprisingly, Lynch adds that this is basically the same way that Apple Pay works, security and all:
Very much like how Apple Pay works, you can digitally present it, and the information can show up for the person who is looking at your ID. And we manage which information is available to which person. Kind of like you do in [the Health app].
This support is just the beginning, really. Apple is building out more support for additional automobile keys, part of its Car Key feature. This means that, in the near future, more vehicles will support using your iPhone (or your Apple Watch) as your car key, too.
Beyond that, Apple is also adding support for a wide range of smart locks. This means that you’ll be able to store digital house keys in the Wallet app, too. So, theoretically, some day soon, you’ll be able to leave your drivers license, your car key, and your house key all at home — and just use your Apple Watch to access and use all of these things when you need.
It’s certainly a wild future. We’ll have to hope that all the necessary third parties out there offer support on the same level.