The Future of PIN Could Involve Colour and Shape Buttons

By Jamie Condliffe on at

The PIN system is an ageing and not entirely secure technique, especially when it comes to ATMs. But a new system that uses colour and shapes may go at least some way to solving the problem.

With many ATM hacks recording PIN button presses using a small camera, TRI-PIN claims to have a solution that will foil such snooping tactics. Admittedly, it sounds a little like a child designed it, but hear it out. Here's how the idea works:

A user chooses a PIN with a combination of numbers, colours and shapes;, for example: 3, square, pink, flag. Each time that the user has to input their pin, the colours and symbols randomly change position on the TRI-PIN keypad, so you're never pressing the same sequence of keys.

That's easy to get working on touchscreen devices through software, perhaps a little harder to install as hardware on thousands of ATMs. Regardless, though, it's a pretty neat and simple solution to a complex and enduring problem. The system is about to start appearing in apps, and may at some point make it to hardware—though that might not be childsplay. [Tri-PIN]