A UK company claims to have invented the idea of using a set of emoji to replace a PIN number, suggesting that our stupid brains find it easier to remember the silly drawing people face things — and that the increased complexity of the emoji character set makes brute-forcing into our bank accounts substantially harder.

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This is all coming from Intelligent Environments, which says its emoji PIN system is ready to go right now. The small print explains the maths behind the claim of enhanced security, calculating: “Traditional PIN = 7,290 unique permutations of four non-repeating numbers vs Emoji Passcode = 3,498,308 million unique permutations of non-repeating emojis, based on a selection size of 44 emoji.”

If that doesn’t get you all hot for internet security matters, it quotes “Memory expert Tony Buzan” as saying: “The Emoji Passcode plays to humans’ extraordinary ability to remember pictures, which is anchored in our evolutionary history. We remember more information when it’s in pictorial form, that’s why the Emoji Passcode is better than traditional PINs.”

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Here it is in action:

The one thing Intelligent Environments doesn’t seem to have is any actual banks signed up to use this rather smart concept so, even though it may well be the future, it’s quite a distant one. [Intelligent Environments via BBC]