Smart cards are moving forward so rapidly that even their boosters were expressing amazement last week at an international conference on the subject in Washington.

The conference, Cardtech/Securtech '95, graduated to the downtown Washington Hilton after four prior years at a suburban location. Yet this prime convention hotel couldn't comfortably absorb a crowd that included 1,400 seminar attendees and perhaps 4,000 more exhibit-hall visitors.

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