PlayCAPTCHA games

Forget filling in unreadable forms for site security, 2014 is the year that gamified, interactive CAPTCHA’S takeover

“PlayCAPTCHAS make use of [CAPTCHA] attention by creating a playful interactive experience that delivers a brand message at the same time as verifying you are human.”

PlayCAPTCHA is an emerging service looking to replace CAPTCHA, the squiggly line security forms that we regularly complete in order for a site to test that we are a human and not a computer robot.

The technology is in the early stages of development at the moment but with an estimated 300 million CAPTCHAs completed daily, equating to 150,000 human hours, it looks set to disrupt the ordinary security format and provide a time-saving and engaging alternative.

How it works

PlayCAPTCHA creates interactive advertising mini games to ensure the user is human, instead of the often unreadable CAPTCHAs. Currently produced by Future Ad Labs, a group of scientists, engineers and gaming experts, the service allows for CAPTCHAS’s to be gamified on websites.

Say you were paying for a ticket securely on your mobile, the standard CAPTCHA form would be replaced by a game or interactive screen where all you need to do is flick your finger across the screen and the technology then assesses that you’re not a robot through your finger movements. Not only does it save time but it creates a new, powerful advertising channel for businesses.

This trend looks set to attract big brands; only last month Nestle’s KitKat launched an online interactive ad PlayCAPTCHA game, following in the footsteps of Heinz, Cillit Bang and Reckitt Benckiser which each created PlayCAPTCHA games earlier this year.

Kate Russell, technology reporter and author of Working the Cloud:

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“The standard 468×60 banner ad has a 0.04% click-through rate, which means you are more likely to drown in the bath than click on one – and drowning is exactly how some brands must feel as they try to grab our attention in this relentlessly interactive, digital world. And yet a stunning 300 million CAPTCHAs are completed every day, each taking an average of 14 seconds; that’s more than 130 years of human attention daily.

“PlayCAPTCHAS make use of that attention by creating a playful interactive experience that delivers a brand message at the same time as verifying you are human. Studies have shown that this kind of interaction imparts a 1200% better message recall than a standard banner ad, and it turns a frustrating activity for the user into something that is fun and a lot easier than deciphering a bunch of scrambled letters.”


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