The PIN system is an ageing and not entirely secure technique, especially when it comes to ATMs. But a new system that uses color and shape may go at least some way to solving the problem.

With many ATM hacks recording PIN button presses using a small camera, TRI-PIN claims to have a solution that will foil such snooping tactics. Admittedly, it sounds a little like a child designed it, but hear it out. Here's how the idea works:

A user chooses a PIN with a combination of numbers, colours and shapes;, for example: 3, square, pink, flag. Each time that the user has to input their pin, the colours and symbols randomly change position on the TRI-PIN keypad, so you're never pressing the same sequence of keys.

That's easy to get working on touchscreen devices through software, perhaps a little harder to install as hardware on thousands of ATMs. Regardless, though, it's a pretty neat and simple solution to a complex and enduring problem. The system is about to start appearing in apps, and may at some point make it to hardware—though that might not be childsplay. [Tri-PIN]