One ubiquitous college student staple is set to replace another this year as Blackboard Inc. attempts to turn mobile devices into campus ID cards.


The Blackboard app works even when a phone is turned off.

Students at many campuses can already use their mobile devices to check bus schedules, submit their homework, and receive emergency notifications.

Blackboard’s new pilot program would enable students to use their devices for a laundry list of other tasks – including laundry.

The learning management system company’s program, called Blackboard Transact, is being piloted at Quinnipiac University and Tulane University.

Students who have downloaded the app can open doors, pay for campus meals, purchase items in vending machines, and use copiers and printers, all with the wave of a smart phone.

“Campuses are going mobile and we wanted to leverage this reality by giving students a seamless experience to navigate campus with a mobile credential,” said John Meriano, associate vice president for auxiliary services at Quinnipiac University.

See Page 2 for details on how the app works — even when a student’s phone is turned off.