The world is currently fixated on using combinations of letters and numbers as passwords and PIN codes, but actually there could be a better way. Whether you love them or hate them, emoji offer one possible alternative to this standard, which could make passcodes both easier to remember and harder to crack.

Emoji passcodes are the invention of British company Intelligent Environments. They're designed to be "mathematically more secure and easier to remember" than traditional four-digit PIN codes. Users choose four emoji from a set of 44 options, including the infamous smiling poop emoji.

Passcodes made up of emoji are reportedly more secure, as offering a choice of 44 emoji means there is a total of 3.5 million possible permutations. That's a lot more impressive than the 7,000-odd non-repeating PIN permutations. Using pictures should also prevent criminals from identifying significant numbers associated with an individual's life, such as birthdays or anniversaries.

Emoji passcodes are also arguably easier to remember than PIN codes, simply because humans remember pictures better than letters or numbers. "The Emoji Passcode plays to humans' extraordinary ability to remember pictures, which is anchored in our evolutionary history," Intelligent Environments quotes memory expert Tony Buzan as saying. "We remember more information when it’s in pictorial form, that’s why the Emoji Passcode is better than traditional PINs."

Intelligent Environments makes digital banking software, and the company has already integrated emoji passcodes into its Android banking app. However, the company has not patented the idea, so other companies could follow suit with similar methods. Are we about to enter the age of emoji?

More information is available in the following video.

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