Sep 29, 2009

"fill this in and bring it back"

Did you ever count, how many times a year you have to fill in your name, address, various identification numbers, payment details, etc.? Many online, many on paper.

immigration paperwork for East African countries

Photo: border crossing paperwork in East Africa.

Arriving to Kenya, one form. Leaving Kenya for Tanzania, one form. Arriving to Tanzania 2 minutes later, one form. Leaving mainland Tanzania to arrive to Zanzibar, one form. Leaving Zanzibar for the mainland, one form. Leaving Tanzania, one form.

Some processes, services are below suboptimal. Loudly inefficient or dysfunctional even, and sometimes completely in lack of purpose.

2009. Within 2 weeks, touching only 2 countries, 6 forms altogether, nice colorful hard paper cards. All asking the same exact questions. Add all the check-ins to hotels, hostels, add all the ticket purchased in advance and on spot. Add the visas.

Self identification, information provision of the future? A method/technology/other that is lightweight and comfortable, quick and safe, globally standardized?

Or is this even the right vision?

Update: A related question is the safe and convenient storing of all the login/password data, pin codes, policy numbers, all the other data today.. and how it will look like in 10-20 years.


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