Tech by VICE

Emoji Passcodes? It Was Inevitable

A UK-based tech company thinks that emoji passcodes will be more secure than numbers.

by Emiko Jozuka
Jun 15 2015, 12:10pm

The world's first Emoji passcode. Video: Intelligent Environments.

In the past few years, innovations in the emoji sphere have seen everything from racially diverse emoji to endangered mammal emoji. But so far, few have attempted to apply the ubiquitous emoji to passcodes.

Enter UK-based technology company Intelligent Environments, which just launched the world's first emoji-only passcode. Intelligent Environments is arguing that emoji pins will be easier to remember than their digit predecessors, and that, mathematically, they're bound to be more secure than traditional passcodes.

"There are 480 times more combinations of emoji than there are of numbers zero to nine," David Webber, managing director of Intelligent Environments, told me. "It's easier for people to remember different combinations of emoji characters. They can associate images with stories, so they're more likely to choose different combinations for different platforms."

In a press release, memory expert and inventor of the Mind Map technique, Tony Buzan, remarked that: "the Emoji Passcode plays to humans' extraordinary ability to remember pictures, which is anchored in our evolutionary history. We remember more information when it's in pictorial form."

Webber explained that Intelligent Environments initially looked at targeting emoji passcodes at millenials. "There's a group out there in the marketplace, which banks wish to target: the millennials. We wanted to find some technology that they might find engaging and fun," he said.

He envisioned that the emoji passcode would be more widely adopted in the future. As they'd be easier to remember, he said that people could be encouraged to come up with different passcodes for different uses, as opposed to using the same one across all platforms.

Then again, whether loads of people will actually take up the emoji passcodes in the future is debatable. When it comes to remembering passwords in number form our brains don't actually suck, after all.