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Start-up Aims To Replace CAPTCHAs With Games

Are You a Human, a Detroit-based start-up, is hoping to replace the blurry letters of CAPTCHA with minigames as the Web's standard authentication tool.

The company has released PlayThru, an authentication tool that allows users to play embedded minigames rather than type in cryptic combinations of letters and digits.

"PlayThru combines intuitive puzzles with proprietary algorithms to distinguish human interaction from malicious automated attacks, giving content providers confidence they are dealing with real humans and giving end users a much more pleasant experience", explained Are You a Human chief operating officer Reid Tatoris in a statement.

The company acknowledges websites' need to verify that visitors are humans and not automated bots, but argues that the security process need not be as frustrating as CAPTCHA has made it, citing research that claims nearly 25 per cent of users are more likely to leave a site rather than comply with a CAPTCHA.

That's in part because text-based CAPTCHAs can be just as difficult for humans to decipher as they are for bots.

According to Are You a Human, sites using PlayThru, which can be integrated with common CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal and is, boast submission rates 40 per cent greater than those of sites using traditional text-based authentication tools.