It’s often said that the human brain recalls images more easily than text or numbers. And as we all know, emoji are now an integral part of the cultural lexicon. The next obvious step is, naturally, emoji passcodes.
A British software company called Intelligent Environments has found a way to replace a four digit bank PIN with a set of emoji, making passcodes not only easier to remember, but also more secure. The company lays claim to the title of “world’s first emoji-only passcode” in a press release, and notes that there are “480 times more permutations using emojis over traditional four-digit passcodes.”
Here’s a demo of the technology:
Intelligent Environments hasn’t yet signed banks to actually use emoji passcodes, so it’s unclear when people will get their hands on the technology–though the company claims banks will adopt it within 12 months. And as mind-mapping expert Michael Tipper told the BBC, emoji PINs won’t necessarily be safer than existing passcodes if users string together emoji like they often do numbers (think 1-2-3-4):
“Statistically it will be harder to crack–but if you’re presented with a screen of emoji and you can’t be bothered to remember a sequence you’re going to pick the ones in the four corners or the top row–and then you are left with an equally insecure technology.”
Suffice it to say, we don’t recommend making your passcode , tempting as it might be.