Blackboard is marketing the app as the “industry’s first native NFC mobile campus credential.”
That means the app utilizes device readers that use what’s called “near field communication” to sense the mobile devices when they are close by.
As the app is taking advantage of the NFC capabilities built inside phones, the app doesn’t have to be active for a transaction to be completed. In fact, the device doesn’t have to be turned on or even have any battery life left.
Blackboard has been quietly working on the technology since 2008, and the company began installing NFC-compatible hardware devices on campuses in 2010.
While this pilot program will run through May, other universities may end up taking advantage of the app much sooner, as those same devices are already installed on more than 250 campuses.