Culture

Will Our Smartphones Soon Replace Passports?

Would you want a paperless passport?

A little while ago we heard news that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was in talks to introduce world-first cloud passports for us Aussies, bypassing our current physical passports. While we haven’t heard much more from our pollies about this step, there have been rumblings elsewhere that prove the days of physical passports are numbered.

The world’s biggest passport producer De La Rue are currently working on a paperless passport that will see our personal details being stored on our mobile phones. The concept is in the early stages of development, but it would mean travellers would forgo our classic navy booklets for something a little more transient (and already attached to our hips).

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Say goodbye to your perfectly crafted stamp portfolio 🙁 Photo: hjl/Flickr

Passports are currently one of the last hold-outs in our increasingly digital world, and the paperless passport would work similarly to a mobile boarding pass, with details and credentials all available via your smartphone.

But this so-called “green” initiative does have its flaws: for starters, it means no more passport stamps. There’s also the potential for forgery, and the possibility of losing your phone. Security challenges are De La Rue’s biggest hurdle, so the company are currently trialling new inbuilt hardware for phones in order to combat forgeries and copies.

Whether or not this initiative goes ahead, it sure paints a pretty exciting picture for the future of travel. Buckle up.

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