CAPTCHAs, it seems, were specifically designed to discourage Web users from doing whatever they were trying to do -- post a comment, buy something, etc. -- before a CAPTCHA got in their way. Yes, “the CAPTCHA test … where you have to type in the word that you see in a blurry distorted font image -- is extremely annoying and often leads to multiple failures,” VentureBeat notes. Enter Detroit-based startup Are You a Human, which uses simple games rather than CAPTCHAs to verify that Web users are real person, and not an automated bot.
Its human authentication tool, PlayThru, seeks to help companies fight spammers and bots that have begun to circumvent CAPTCHAs. Companies already using the tool include Quicken Loans and Fat Head, and users have played nearly 2 million games to date, VentureBeat reports. “With Are You a Human’s tool, companies can embed a simple game instead,” it reports. “For instance, one minigame requires users to look at a set of five images and pick up the two tools and put them in a tool box.”
At least according to Are You a Human, its services are a no brainer for retention-focuses Web publishers and ecommerce sites. According to the company’s own survey of 1,000 users, they preferred PlayThru four-to-one over traditional text-based CAPTCHAs, while sites using the tool have seen their submission rates go up by 40%.