AreYouAHuman Develops Game-Based CAPTCHA Alternative

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News Posted: Thu, May 9 2013 12:39 PM
Few things on the Internet are both as necessary and annoying as CAPTCHAs, but it’s difficult to otherwise verify that a human being is attempting to access a site or send information. There have been and continue to be plenty of methods to improve CAPTCHAs, including an oddball empathy-based version, a twisted image that requires the user to drag sliders around to re-orient the image, taking the two-birds-with-one-stone approach of combining ads and CAPTCHAs, and more.

One company that has developed a novel idea is AreYouAHuman, which offers a game-based verification system called PlayThru. The company describes PlayThru thusly: “PlayThru is the CAPTCHA replacement that makes people smile: a set of quick, simple minigames that delight users and stop bots in their tracks.”

AreYouAHuman butterflies
Step 1: Prepare to catch butterflies. Step 2: Catch butterflies. Step 3: Joy and verification.

The games are nearly mindless and kind of stupid, but that’s the point. For example, one game is “Catch only the butterflies”, wherein you can control a net with your mouse and drag it to the couple of butterflies in the tiny picture while avoiding the birds and bees. (There’s a joke in there somewhere.) Another is “Put basketball players on the court”, in which you click and drag two drawings of basketball players to the basketball court in the picture; if you try and drag the coffee cup or banana there, forget it--you lose.

That’s it. And it takes seconds--oddly, less time that some CAPTCHAs take to decipher. AreYouAHuman claims that PlayThru can increase a site’s form submission by 40%, and it can also be branded as an ad, which combines its functionality with the ad-based CAPTCHA idea mentioned above.

Finally, the team behind PlayThru went to the trouble of learning how Internet bots “think” and developing the tool that specifically trips up bot logic and engages with normal human logic, which is a welcome innovation.
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lipe123 replied on Thu, May 9 2013 1:13 PM

Whats wrong with the picture ones that you have to drag a slider over? Those are even faster and easier.

The problem is not the amount of viable great alternatives, the problem is that no one is adopting those options!

To this day enormous companies like google, microsoft etc all still use the insanely annoying garbled bunch of letters and numbers that make no sense or spell no words.

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We need this now!!!

Implement it please! I cannot describe the frustration of being locked out of something because of not being able to decipher a bunch of trash mixed together in a small box with weird print, and then being accused of being a robot! XD

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I would gladly take that over the words I as a human have a hard time reading. Yeah, they help google scan in books, but screw that.

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What happens if you catch the birds instead?

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Johnny3D replied on Fri, May 10 2013 11:54 AM

I like this idea better than the captchas that I simply can't figure out. Sometimes they're not terrible, but often they are just indecipherable.

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SDonaldson replied on Sat, May 11 2013 12:13 AM

This sounds like a great idea. I've grown so accustomed to current CAPTCHAs, that I am pretty fast and accurate with them. But that tells me that the current armies of bots out there are probably becoming just as successful. It's going to be a constant battle to try to thwart them with new methods.

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harris replied on Sat, May 11 2013 10:59 AM

Great idea! I wish more sites would use game like captchas such as this or minteye captcha instead of regular captchas (with all my respect to Google's book digital book project).

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Captchas For Advertising and Analytics, plus, A complete Entertainment Solution

Check out this blog -

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