Wallets? They're so 2008.
Delta, American and United presently support electronic boarding passes on smartphones, and stragglers like JetBlue are planning e-boarding programs in the near future.
What's next? If some visionaries have their way, the future of mobile travel will touch virtually every key activity at the airport -- including security and U.S. passports. Smartphone technology might improve airport efficiency and help ease the pain from skyrocketing traffic predicted in the next 20 years. But is a post-9/11 world comfortable with the idea of merging personal cell phones into the airport security network?
Any company that intends to create an official electronic ID will have to work closely with countless government authorities to come up with secure, verifiable standards. Think about the complexity of that idea across 50 U.S. states and all the nations that travelers visit each year.
An electronic passport would have to be approved by an international standards organization, and it would have to be usable from country to country, according to the U.S. State Department, which oversees U.S. passports.
Despite customer convenience, process efficiency, and potential cost savings, security questions still linger.
Would security benefit from smart-phone based e-passports and e-drivers licenses?
Would they increase speed, efficiency or security at TSA check points?
How would you prove that the phone is yours? In other words, how would you prove that the e-passport is actually you?
Future phones or electronic ID may require some form of biometric security function -- like fingerprint matching.” There are as many questions that must be answered as there are that must be asked.
CNN. (2012). Apple’s secret plan to join iPhones with airport security. Retrieved 30 November 2012 from: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/19/travel/mobile-airport-travel-apps/index.html