Captcha is a technology developed to ensure that a submitted information is genuine (like the image above). ReCaptcha is the very first Captcha system which was developed by Luis Von Ahn.


The Birth

The creator of ReCaptcha, Mr. Luis Von Ahn said in his interview with the BBC, “At first I felt really good about that because I thought, ‘Look at the impact that I’ve had’,” he says. “But then I starting feeling bad.” I think once the developer of a product says it’s bad then it has to be really bad.

The implications for his statement are quite negative – think of a partially blind person or someone suffering from optic nerve damage, perhaps an elderly person who just wants to register their email address online? The use of Captcha poses more disadvantages and only a single advantage; the prevention of spam bots or spam emails.


The Innovation

After the problem with Captcha was established, the innovation of making it better came about. Projects like NuCaptcha, ReCaptcha (2) and Ads Captcha, didn’t prevent it’s use. They just added ‘significance‘ to it. Google acquired ReCaptcha and Mr. Luis teamed up with some students to develop Duolingo. ReCapture was expanded for user validation and the translation of the New York Times’ newspapers. In the space of 24 months, it was able to translate over 129 years of archived papers.


The Future and Solutions

I would love to say, “because Captcha poses many disadvantages, it is being phased out everywhere on the internet“; however, this isn’t the case. Your (possibly) loving operating system provider Microsoft has strapped it onto their operating system as a registration requirement:

Windows 8 Captcha

Other giants such as Google, allow Captcha to be used widely over the internet and many other websites use it actively.


There are MANY solutions and alternatives to Captcha, the most simple being a hidden field. Klaus Kjeldsn describes a very great way to implement this within an HTML form. NuCaptcha changes it into an interactive puzzle and other solutions like Akismet provide amazing algorithms that identify and prevent spam. These are just a select few of many alternatives which many websites have implemented to prove that you sir/miss are human. Captcha is frustrating and impractical for the internet today.


Categorised As:Fail, The Internet, Web Design