Passwords have been the standard for securing anything that requires a user to access it. The standard is changing gradually passwords giving room to the usage of pass-phrases as they give more security. This poses another problem: the fact that users have to memorize longer and longer strings which in the terms of having ,for example, 10 passwords a nightmare to remember which pass-phrase is for what and to actually remember the pass-phrase in itself.
Alternatives have been devised and developed for quite some time now. Biometric systems and external devices like usb sticks come as alternatives to the classic password. Their implementations come with user a more user friendly approach, but with new solutions come new problems.
For instance Biometric systems can be bypassed depending on how they are implemented and the vulnerability of the access key the user is using.
For instance a finger print access biometric system may be accessed via a fingerprint taken from the user.
An example of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA4Xx5Noxyo
On the other hand external devices pose the threat of being stolen or worse, being duplicated without the user knowing it.
System are being perfected and one of the most reasonable way to deal with possible security issues is to chose a combination of these alternatives.
In the end the probability of the classic password fading out soon is very unlikely.