People could soon be picking up their train and theatre tickets without leaving the comfort of their home thanks to a new Swiss-made software package.This content was published on March 6, 2002 - 17:55
SecuTix, which has been jointly developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and the ELCA informatics company, will allow customers to print off their own tickets immediately after paying for them online.
Richard Schwab from ELCA's marketing division says the service will end the need for tickets to be posted after being bought over the Internet.
"Up to now, you went to an Internet site, you paid normally with a credit card and then waited a few days for mail with your ticket inside," he told swissinfo. "With this new technology, you are able to print it at home and it is a secure ticket. It is difficult to falsify the tickets and to make a copy."
Tickets issued using SecuTix will include bar codes, which can be verified using a special bar code reader. Schwab says the software is based on the algorithms and techniques used to print banknotes, making it difficult to produce fake tickets.
Special images or tiny nanostructures, which are difficult to reproduce on counterfeits, can also be added to the face of each ticket, as can photographs.
Schwab stresses, however, that owners of home PCs will not require special software, printers or paper. They will simply have to make contact online with companies issuing tickets before being able print them off by themselves.
"The advantage for you at home is still there because you get a ticket in your hand immediately after the payment process, so you don't have to wait," he explained.
ELCA says it is currently negotiating with potential business partners, specialising in the travel or entertainment industries, who may be interested in investing in SecuTix.
swissinfo with agencies