The days when a driver's license or other physical ID card needs to be carried could end thanks to a new breakthrough from Google and Qualcomm features for the next version of Google's Android R operating system.
At the Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii announced that Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform will be the first mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) to support Android Identity Credential APIs in Android R, which are expected to roll out next year.
Several aspects of everyday life are already ported to mobile phones, including boarding passes, credit cards and shopping vouchers. A logical next step is digital ID cards backed by biometric authentication.
This may mean that a user can save their driver's license on a mobile device to confirm their identity online quickly and via the Internet offline. This could significantly speed up the authentication process for purchasing goods and services, but also provides an additional layer of security for mobile users.
Qualcomm and Google did not go into much detail about how the APIs work, but earlier this year it was announced that the latter is working on a mobile driving license standard for smartphones, even though there is no firm start date yet in sight.
It is likely that the service will be offered as part of Qualcomm's announced Snapdragon 865 platform "We are very grateful that we have entered into a very close partnership with Qualcomm to improve the status of Android security" said Sudhi Herle, head of Google's Android platform security, said at the Snapdragon Summit.
"Security itself is not as glamorous as we would like to believe ̵
" Over the last year, we've worked very closely together to raise the bar for Android security for our users.
The move is part of Qualcomm's and Google's ongoing push for what the former Keith Kressin described as "the safest Android platform in the world."
Not much is known about Android R yet, but there are likely to be a number of enhancements and upgrades for mobile users.