At some point in the not-so-distant future we’ll look back on the long hours spent in line at customs and be thankful that such interminable airport excursions are just a thing of the past. And, most important, that safer borders are the result.
Indeed, airports are rapidly moving toward the widespread adoption of ePassport systems, and with these mechanisms in place, going through customs not only promises to get a lot faster, but also more secure for travelers worldwide.
Ireland Wins an Award for its ePassport
An Entrust credentialing customer, Ireland introduced ePassports into national circulation back in 2006, according to Citizens Information. The way ePassports work — perhaps their main drawing point, in fact — is that they are an addition to, instead of an alternative to, the normal paper-bound passport. A special sensor is embedded within the physical passport, one that can be scanned and processed by specially designed machines.
Because ePassport technology is still on the rise, countries are taking different approaches as far as implementation. Some of these approaches have been better than others, with Ireland being one such example. The country was recently recognized for its ePassport efforts with an award for Regional ID Document of the Year 2014.
“We are delighted that the newly designed Irish ePassport has gained international recognition,” Joe Nugent, Director of Passport Services for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, said on behalf of his organization. “Not only does our new passport use the latest security technologies to protect citizens’ identities but the use of images depicting Irish culture and landscapes has created a sense of pride among our citizens.”
Some technological devices may have a bare-bones, unadorned design, but such is not the case with Ireland’s passports. Indeed, each ePassport is not only equipped with the embedded technology, but also with color illustrations within its pages that depict years of Irish history. What this artistic touch does for those who possess the ePassport is to make them feel like their personal passport is more than just a technological mechanism, but also a piece of national pride that they can carry with them. One feature of Ireland’s ePassports, for example, are excerpts from famous Irish poets including William Butler Yeats and James Orr.
Ireland should set an important precedent for other countries that ePassports present an opportunity to infuse a piece of technology with national flair.