Playable Captchas are the Future of Logins

Illustration for article titled Playable Captchas are the Future of Logins

A new way of verifying you’re a real person and not a spam machine might eliminate the chore of typing phrases like “beetle sausage” and so on, with a start-up looking to gamify the art of verifying you’re a human.

The PlayCaptcha system, developed by the UK’s Future Ad Labs, replaces the tired old text verification system with a mini game, suggesting it’s quicker than squinting at a normal captcha and, in good news for advertisers and brands, provides an exciting new little animated box that grabs the attention of internet users.

Products made and advertised by giant conglomerates Heinz and Reckitt Benckiser are among the first to sign up to these interactive adver-games on their sign-up pages, so look out for them the next time you’re voluntarily adding your details to some company’s spam database.


The early demo example supplied to us asks you to move the (Heinz branded) salad cream onto the sandwich, a gaming experience that’s perhaps not quite up there with the 20-minute epic police chases people are currently enjoying in GTA V, but still. It’s quicker and easier than identifying some wonky words. [Gizmodo UK]

Illustration for article titled Playable Captchas are the Future of Logins

Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone—so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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While I like the concept, I see a potential problem with it, especially if it is sponsored. Take the above example, which I suppose will be a drag-and-drop like experience. Unlike captcha word combinations, it would be expected to repeat, and perhaps repeat often. For this to be successful, we'd need a gazillion games, and each game would need some kind of highly randomizable factor. Otherwise, how would this be unreadable to a bot that simply stores a routine for each known minigame? (and yes, if you know how it would be, please add a comment).