PlayThru game-based authentication: I hate captchas. I love captchas.

Captchas are one of those necessary evils of online life. They serve a useful purpose and yet we loathe them. Most of the time they insult our intelligence and waste time as we refresh, refresh, refresh to find something vaguely intelligible. Yes I am human, no I’m not a spambot. Thankfully, a company called Are You a Human want’s to re-invent captchas by making them fun.

A traditional captcha is essentially a game in which you are tasked with deciphering a mess of warped alphanumeric characters. Are You a Human wants us to play new games with PlayThru. With PlayThru you play a graphically rich mini-game in which you, for example, pick the right ingredients for your pancake. Butter, syrup good. Baseball, gear, flower pot, bad.

Seriously, PlayThru is in my opinion, one of the most important breakthroughs in recent internet history. The startup says the solution is not only way, way more fun, but also more secure since bots have a harder time solving image-based puzzles.

PlayThru is coming out of beta and will officially launch on 21 May for PCs and smartphones. It’s available for free to site owners and developers.

I keep refreshing just to play the games. Don’t judge me.



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