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Apple execs explain how Apple Watch could replace your wallet and keys

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Last updated

A pair of Apple executives detail how an Apple Watch could replace a user's wallet and physical car keys with new features in watchOS 8.

Deidre Caldbeck, Apple's director of Apple Watch product marketing, and Kevin Lynch, Apple vice president of technology, recently spoke with Yahoo about the new digital Wallet features in the company's upcoming watchOS 8 update.

Caldbeck didn't shy away from saying that Apple's ultimate goal will be to replace physical wallets with digital devices.

"This is kind of our vision for eventually replacing the physical wallet where you just have everything you need right on your wrist," Caldbeck said.

Lynch, however, admitted that progress toward that goal is still in its nascent stages. At its WWDC 21 conference earlier in June, Apple first detailed how its Wallet platform will support identification cards and driver's licenses when it's released in watchOS 8.

"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," Lynch said. "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]."

Of course, this assumes that state governments will support the feature. Each state will likely have different rules on how it approaches digital licenses, and it'll take time for the technology to roll out on a broader scale.

Additionally, Lynch explained how users will be able to lock, unlock, and start up their vehicles using an Apple Watch running watchOS 8.

"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," he said.

Of course, this depends on a vehicle supporting NFC and Ultra Wideband connections. Users will also need an up-to-date Apple Watch — anything older than the Apple Watch Series 6 won't support the feature.

Apple's watchOS 8 is currently in its beta testing phase. A full release to the public is expected later in 2021.

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