7
Recommendations

Throughout the report, a number of recommendations are made.1 Foremost are features for visually disabled people that the committee believes could be incorporated in the redesigned currency currently under development by the New Currency Design Task Force. Other recommendations include strategies for the field testing of features and implementation strategies for features incorporated in the new design to enhance the effectiveness of the features and to educate the public in their use. In the opinion of the committee, some of the features identified in this report as potentially useful for visually disabled people could be incorporated without significant further research.

Since advances in reproduction and imaging technologies will require more-frequent redesign of the currency to combat counterfeiting, the committee has identified areas where further research may broaden the range of features applicable to the denomination, identification, and authentication of currency and enhance the effectiveness of the features recommended.

Recommended Features

  • The committee recommends the use of size as a key to denomination, with or without the use of a size template (4).
  • The committee suggests evaluation of current approaches to size-denominated currency in other countries and determination of the magnitude of size differences that would make the six denominations sufficiently distinguishable (4).
  • The committee strongly recommends the use of large, high-contrast numerals on a uniform background (4).
  • The committee recommends the use of different predominant colors for the six denominations printed (4).
  • The committee considers coarse features to be secondary to the use of large, high-contrast numerals with a uniform background or color. These features would be useful if the portraits or other similar large, shaped patterns were distinctively located on the banknote (4).

1  

The number in parentheses at the end of each recommendation refers to the chapter in the body of the report where the recommendation is discussed.



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--> 7 Recommendations Throughout the report, a number of recommendations are made.1 Foremost are features for visually disabled people that the committee believes could be incorporated in the redesigned currency currently under development by the New Currency Design Task Force. Other recommendations include strategies for the field testing of features and implementation strategies for features incorporated in the new design to enhance the effectiveness of the features and to educate the public in their use. In the opinion of the committee, some of the features identified in this report as potentially useful for visually disabled people could be incorporated without significant further research. Since advances in reproduction and imaging technologies will require more-frequent redesign of the currency to combat counterfeiting, the committee has identified areas where further research may broaden the range of features applicable to the denomination, identification, and authentication of currency and enhance the effectiveness of the features recommended. Recommended Features The committee recommends the use of size as a key to denomination, with or without the use of a size template (4). The committee suggests evaluation of current approaches to size-denominated currency in other countries and determination of the magnitude of size differences that would make the six denominations sufficiently distinguishable (4). The committee strongly recommends the use of large, high-contrast numerals on a uniform background (4). The committee recommends the use of different predominant colors for the six denominations printed (4). The committee considers coarse features to be secondary to the use of large, high-contrast numerals with a uniform background or color. These features would be useful if the portraits or other similar large, shaped patterns were distinctively located on the banknote (4). 1   The number in parentheses at the end of each recommendation refers to the chapter in the body of the report where the recommendation is discussed.

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--> The committee recommends that some overt features be included in the new currency design to assist the developers of devices. Of the features considered, denominational UPC coding or simple geometric shapes included in the intaglio design in standard ink could be read optically and are readily available today (4). Specification of new or enhanced features should not be aimed at minimal levels of recognition performance (i.e., threshold levels) but should strive for sufficient differentiation to permit rapid, effortless performance. Differences between successive denominations should be several times larger than the difference threshold (2). Research and Development Opportunities Development of features building on the extensive literature on visual and tactile processes and perception is warranted for near-term currency feature additions. Highly directed, psychophysical/empirical technical work should be undertaken to address questions regarding optimum dimensions, optical contrast, location, colors, physical size, etc. (5). The committee recommends research to define the threshold and accuracy of reading of the types of low-relief tactile features that are likely to be applicable to currency. This information would be needed for assessment of tactile features should a technique be identified for production of appropriate durable tactile marks (5). The committee urges research on the development of durable tactile features printed with transparent ink, since they can be implemented with minimal design changes and so offer flexibility in timing the feature incorporation (6). The committee recommends that combinations of features that enhance denomination and orientation be identified (5). The committee recommends research on enhanced threads or planchettes that would improve the use of devices (4). The committee recommends that the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the BEP work with the device developers to determine where the most improvements can be made (4). The committee recommends that long-term research into advanced features, possibly leading to smart money, be initiated as possible directions become evident from technology development (5). The committee recommends that the incorporation of advances in microelectronics, nanotechnology, molecular electronics, materials, photonics, and magnetics in device development be encouraged by supporting technical work that is focused on deriving very sophisticated but inexpensive, reliable, accurate, and inconspicuous devices to assist visually disabled people in recognizing; denominating; and, perhaps, authenticating U.S. currency (5). Technical work underway by organizations and institutions concerned with the problems of people who are visually disabled and with solutions to those problems should be followed (5).

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--> Implementation Strategies In selecting features for implementation, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve should involve appropriate user groups as early as possible to ensure selection of those features most likely to be used by, and useful to, the target population (6). The field test should be broad enough in scope to show that the new feature permits rapid, relatively effortless, and confidential currency identification not only under optimal conditions but across a wide range of everyday circumstances (6). Data gathered from focus groups should be used to help guide the public education campaign that must be a part of the implementation of any new currency feature (6). Should graded sizes of currency be introduced, the introduction schedule would have to follow modifications of the BEP's production equipment and allow some period of time for the commercial currency-handling industry to prepare for the change (6). In the early stages of distributing sized currency, templates must be made readily available, so a part of the implementation strategy for this feature must include the distribution of appropriate templates. The templates should be distributed free of charge, using banks or appropriate organizations of and for visually disabled people (6).

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