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Leave that ID at home: UK clubs are working on a new digital nightlife pass

AI-powered age verification software could replace driver’s licences and passports within the next year

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

Imagine turning up to the club and just not having to show your ID. No more fumbling about in your bag, no more messing around at the door. Simply whip your phone out and you’re in. Easy.

Well, that’s already the door policy at a club in Surrey, in the UK, which has launched its own digital ID system. Download the ‘1account’ app, put in your details and you can get into Tru Nightclub in Camberley until the end of June as part of a government trial.

The Home Office is trialling the plan as part of a wider scheme looking into alcohol sales in the UK. You typically need photo ID to buy booze in the country, but the age verification software might change that. Supermarkets like Tesco, ASDA and Morrisons are also going to introduce AI-powered software that can predict whether shoppers are over the age of 18.

The app works by comparing a driver’s licence or passport photo with a current selfie. It maps your facial features, then uses the data to confirm your age before a night out (or if you’re buying tinnies at a self-checkout). You only have to do it once, and you’re set up with a digital ID for life.

A 1account spokesperson told the i newspaper said the app would reduce the chance of people losing their ID. If it proves a success, the initiative could be rolled out across the UK later this year. Which is probably great. Except now you’ve definitely got to remember to be on full battery.

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