Compatible Apple Watch models are set to receive new capabilities in the new watchOS 8. Currently in beta phase and scheduled to release in Fall, the update is packed with new features which are designed to enhance users’ experience. And to discuss the future of the Apple Watch on watchOS 8, Deidre Caldbeck, director of Apple Watch product marketing and Apple VP of technology Kevin Lynch sat down with Yahoo Finance.
Along with new Music, Photos, health features, watch faces features, the update includes an improved Wallet app with ultra-wideband support to unlock using car keys, and add home and hotel keys to the Wallet app to digitally unlock doors right from the wrist. Apple Watch users will also be able to add their IDs to the app in select states in the U.S. The company announced that TSA will start accepting these digital IDs soon at specific checkpoints.
Apple Watch is more than a smartwatch, it will is the future’s wallet and keys
Deidre Caldbeck explained that the company has an ambitious roadmap for Apple Watch in the future, starting expanding the smartwatch’s Wallet app to hold ID, car insurance, and health cards, along with credit cards and digital keys to unlock doors but with the supporting paraphernalia like compatible door locks, cars, and others. He said that;
“This is kind of our vision for eventually replacing the physical wallet where you just have everything you need…right on your wrist.”
Apple VP of technology Kevin Lynch further explained how ID cards in the Wallet app.
“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.
When presenting your driver’s license, your watch will display information like your name, age, address, and other information based on what you’re required to show.
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].”
Although a digital IDs feature might seem far-fetched, it is detailed that the New York state and the federal government are exploring ways to incorporate the use of digital IDs. Furthermore, Lynch reiterated that on watchOS 8, users will be able to lock, unlock and start compatible car models. And Apple Watch’s passcode will prevent thieves from driving away with your smartwatch and the car.
“It’s a lot of fun to be able to just walk up to your car and have it unlock and then drive. I think where we’re at right now, with this kind of keys to the world type thing that we’re working on here with Apple Watch.”
Having said that a Human and Digital rights organization expressed concerns about the government’s intrusion of users’ privacy in its report “Identity Crisis: What digital driver’s licenses could mean for privacy, equity, and freedom.”
A digital system could enhance user privacy and control if done right — but it could also become an infrastructure for invading privacy and increasing the leverage and control of government agencies and companies over individuals.”
And to answer those privacy issues, the Cupertino tech giants said that;
Neither it, nor the authority that provides your ID, will be able to track when or where you’ve shown it. That, though, doesn’t address the issue of increased ID checks that the ACLU warns of.
watchOS 8 will be compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 or later.