Digital identity systems have a natural progression. They are introduced first in applications where the individuals being identified are weak and powerless. That pays for the first copy costs, creates an installed base of craft knowledge, debugs the technology, clears questions about how to use the system in practice, sets standards. It is then resold to communities where the identified individuals are, at least going in, less powerless; but yeah it’s a cheap proven system. So if you want to see the future you need to look at how industry solving identity problems for the powerless, e.g. cattle, prisoners, children, shipping containers.
Here’s an example that’s actually a bit different. The start up costs of this system were paid to identify one largely powerless population, i.e. prisoners, but it’s moving not toward a more powerful one; but toward a less powerful one, i.e. cattle. Virtual Fencing for cattle. It’s an obvious idea of course. Each animal wears a collar and with the help of GPS tracking they are taught to remain within the bounds of the virtual fence, and then you can move the fence around to manage your pastures. (Great, we are back to the turf maintenance and ground-cover problem again.)
I am reminded of the cowboy’s lament
I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hovels and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in.