The power of the identifying photograph hasn¿t diminished in more that 150 years. From the earliest Daguerreotype to the most sophisticated digital laser print, the photograph has remained the standard for visual identification. I one were to add a photograph of Joseph Revere to his European passports there would be on functional difference between them and today¿s photo ID cards.
For other aspects of photo identification there has and will continue to be, new and impressive developments. Future cards will e produced with new materials and software will continue to improve the image quality of the portrait¿ security will be improved, making cards more tamper- and counterfeit-proof; functional features will be improved and new ones will be added (digital storage systems in ID card format are now capable of holding 100 megabytes of data); and card data will seamlessly integrate with other data storage, transmission and application systems.
Progress can also be expected in machine readable identification (e.g., digital voice prints, facial recognition, retinal scams, and thermo graphic portraits) for such applications as access control and verification of online transactions.
As we approach the 21st century, photographic portraiture has secured a permanent and prominent role as the fastest, easiest and most certain form of visual identification. There¿s no end in sight for photo identification.
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