Scenario: People interacting with organisations on the basis of a token

This is a standard situation in which passports, identity cards, customer loyalty cards, patient cards, wristbands and other ‘things’ authenticate us to a range of governmental, corporate and other organisations. Currently some of such tokens may be equipped with additional smart technology, such as biometrics (as in the new generation of passports) or RFID. There has been (May 2012) a small controversy about the introduction of microchipped ID wristbands UK festivals: the wristband enables visitors to load cash on them for transactions at the festival site, and offers organisers the possibility to track visitor activity. Such bands have been widely used on European venues already.

What is expected or explored for the future

  • All existing authenticators are expected to become ‘smart’, i.e. (be able to) carry additional information for further transactions. A generally shared concern is the amount of information on such a card, function creep and unauthorized data travel across data bases.
  • Hence, a particular future vision and experiment around smart tokens involves ‘situating’ information: i.e. showing only the information that is needed to a particular organisation, i.e. proof of being over 18 for a bar without revealing other information that is not necessary for that context: PsychicID is the best example of such a vision.
  • Another response to such increasingly smart authentication is to ‘watch-the-watchers’, in a sousveillance movement whose participants wear cameras to record the cameras.
  • In addition, the range of tokens to be used for authentication will expand, especially watchesjewellery and clothes are expected to become carriers of scannable individual information for health, leisure and other types of organisations.

Click here for further examples

Click on one of the concentric circles to find out what the future has in hold