apple watch key card

World Trade Center among first to replace office keys with iPhone and Apple Watch

By Chance Miller | 9TO5Mac

With the release of iOS 15 last year, Apple expanded the Apple Wallet application to support storing office keys for the first time – this feature allows Apple Watch and iPhone users to access buildings by tapping their device to unlock a door. Now, real estate development firm Silverstein Properties has announced that it is rolling out support for this feature to tenants at the World Trade Center.

Office keys in Apple Wallet

Here’s how Apple describes this feature in iOS 15:

For supported corporate offices, add your corporate access badge to Wallet and then use your iPhone and Apple Watch to access locations where your corporate badge is accepted. Tap to unlock your office doors and use your corporate badge in Wallet.

In a press release today, Silverstein Properties announced that its implementation of employee badges in Apple Wallet will allow users to access office buildings, tenant floors, fitness centers, and amenity spaces with just a tap of their iPhone or Apple Watch.

The setup process is handled through Silverstein’s Inspire application for iPhone. Using this app, employees and tenants can add their employee badge to Apple Wallet on their iPhone and Apple Watch.

“We are proud to make it easy for our employees and customers to get into our buildings, their offices, and our shared lounges, cafes, conference facilities and yoga studios using employee badge in Apple Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch,” said Tal Kerret, President of Silverstein Properties. “Through our Inspire app, we can now provide and manage access to any number of buildings and spaces in a safe and secure way.”

One interesting tidbit here is that this implementation of Apple Wallet integration allows Silverstein to easily manage shared office spaces. The company explains that one company could lease an office suite at 7 World Trade Center on Monday and Tuesday, and another company could lease the same space on Wednesday through Friday. Contactless access to that office can then be managed directly through the Wallet app and Silverstein app on iOS.

This capability will launch first at the 7 World Trade Center in New York City, but Silverstein Properties says that it also will expand the service to office customers in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles over the coming months.

9to5Mac’s Take

Apple has a lot of ambitions for the Apple Wallet application, and much of that ambition unfortunately relies on adoption by third-parties. We’ve already seen this impact the rollout of digital IDs in Wallet, and this marks one of the first instances of support for office keys officially rolling out.

Additionally, back in December, Apple launched support for hotel keys in Apple Wallet, but only at six Hyatt hotels. Ideally, all of these features will expand to additional locations sooner rather than later. In the meantime, the initial launches do at least show us how the features work in the real world.

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