For years now companies have been trying to come up with alternatives to passwords and passcodes that will be easier to remember (for users) and more difficult to guess or break (for criminals).
UK-based Intelligence Environment has released on Monday a new solution for creating passcodes by choosing emojis instead of numeric characters.
At the moment, “Emoji Passcode” allows consumers to log into their banks using four emoji characters instead of traditional PINs or passwords.
Users can choose from 44 emojis, which are not the same ones offered by various operating systems (with the exception of iOS’ obviously popular “smiling poo”). It’s also good to note that the emojis differ widely one from another, preventing confusion:
“We’ve had input from lots of millennials when we developed the technology. What’s clear is that the younger generation is communicating in new ways,” explained David Webber, Manager Director at Intelligent Environments. “Our research shows 64% of millennials regularly communicate only using emojis. So we decided to reinvent the passcode for a new generation by developing the world’s first emoji security technology.”
Aside for being more memorable (humans remember pictures better than words), this type of passcode is also more secure than the traditional four digit one used for PINs, as it offers 480 times more permutations.
Of course, the effectiveness of the solution depends on users not choosing an easily guessable set of emojis, for example the first four in a row or column. The offered emojis are always shown in the same pattern, and this is something that the company would do well to change if they want to prevent lazy users from choosing predictable combinations.
It’s difficult to predict whether this solution will be implemented by banks. The company says they are currently in discussion with a number of them, and that they are considering rolling the technology out to their customers within the next 12 months.
If you’re interested in how the solution works, check out this video: