Wallet, Keys, Cards, Passport — There’s an App for All That

The future the things you carry? Your smartphone.

By The Editors
April 6, 2016 9:00 am

Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch … things a man shouldn’t leave home without.

But with the exception of the obvious, they may all reside on the same device some day — and that day may be closer than you think.

Here’s a look at the coming smartphone (and -watch) technologies that may soon replace all your personal effects.

House Keys
Thanks to an app/Wi-Fi-enabled deadbolt combo unit called the Lockitron, anyone with a smartphone can unlock their front door by pushing a few buttons. In addition to eliminating keys, the unit also sends an alert when someone knocks on the door. Just make sure you hook the thing up correctly.  

Driver’s License
A handful of states have already started working with MorphoTrust — the company that currently handles licenses for more than 80 percent of the U.S. — to investigate the possibility of transitioning to MDLs (mobile driver licenses). The licenses, which can be encrypted with PIN, facial recognition and fingerprint software to ensure safety, are already being test-piloted in Iowa.

Business Cards
A mobile app called Haystack lets users create digital cards as well as scan and store the cards they receive by snapping a photo. After storing a contact, the app will continue to update your network’s information by crowdsourcing data from social media.

Cash and Credit Cards
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that services like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay let mobile users make payments using compatible devices such as phones and watches. In the future, people may not even have to swipe, as a South Korean company has launched a service called T Pay that allows users to make payments using voice commands deployed via Bluetooth.

It’s still in the conceptual stage, but a printing company that already does large-scale production of government documents and banknotes is working to develop a way to for phones to store passports in the same way they already store boarding passes and event tickets. The technology to ensure the passports are secure is still in development, but paperless passports may debut within a few years.

Car Keys
In addition to locating your car for you, the Viper SmartStart system can also lock, unlock and remotely start your vehicle with the touch of a button. An app on your smartphone connects to the car via a cloud network that allows multiple users access. If you need someone to fill ‘er up for ya, there’s an app for that as well.

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