Venture Beat has a fascinating report on a new Detroit-based startup called Are You a Human, who want to replace that irritating CAPTCHA text people have to use to prove they are human on just about every website on the Internet with playable mini-games. Obviously we endorse any idea that can eliminate CAPTCHA because it's irritating on so many levels...
The new tool is called "PlayThru," and it will help website owners fights bots and spammers by using simple mini-games. In the Venture Beat article they show one such mini-game where users are asked to put all the tools in a toolbox or put toppings on a pizza.
Companies already using it include Quicken Loans and Fat Head, and users have played nearly 2 million games to date, according to Venture Beat. The tool is easy enough to implement too: companies simply embed a simple game, which changes frequently and can even be used by people who prefer touch-screen-based devices like iPads, phones, etc.
"Text-based CAPTCHAs are difficult to decipher and easy to break, which forces them to become increasingly more difficult to solve,” Reid Tatoris, chief operating officer of Are You a Human, tells Venture Beat. "This vicious cycle makes it frustrating for users, who many times will give up before following through to a site. 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."
For the more technical aspects of it, check out this Venture Beat article.