The majority of college and university students these days have cellular phones, most of them can’t even fathom how to properly function without one (myself included). It is with that in mind that the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Japan is planning to do away with the traditional paper-based student ID cards and replace them with electronic versions to be stored on the students’ mobile phones.
These electronic IDs can also take on other secondary functions, including near-field communication. This will allow specified students with certain IDs to wirelessly unlock doors or make selected purchases. That said, it has not been elucidated how exactly these will be implemented. It does seem safe to assume that they won’t be a simple jpeg image file or something similar… that is, if they hope to prevent student tampering with readily-available programs like PhotoShop, or even MS Paint for that matter. Of course, dealing with students that don’t have cell phones, especially at an institute of technology, is likely the least of their worries.