Say goodbye to long, old-fashioned alphanumeric passwords. How about authenticating yourself by just drawing a circle on a picture, or tap at a particular point? Sounds silly? Well, this is how you will be logging in to your Windows 8 system.
Microsoft on Friday revealed details on its new “Picture Password” technology, which basically allows Windows 8 users to login to their system by simply drawing preset patterns on a picture that is manually selected. So, every time you want to login to your Windows 8 system, you need to draw those specific patterns and get access to the computer.
In a blog post, Steven Sinofsky explains –
The experience of signing in to your PC with touch has traditionally been a cumbersome one. In a world with increasingly strict password requirements-with numbers, symbols, and capitalization-it can take upwards of 30 seconds to enter a long, complex password on a touch keyboard. We have a strong belief that your experience with Windows 8 should be both fast and fluid, and that starts when you sign in.
How does it work?
To create a Picture Password, you need to go to “PC Settings” panel, where you will be presented with an option “Create a picture password.” You will be prompted to enter your Account password, before you proceed further. You’re then asked to select a photo from your album.
Once you have selected a photo, you will have to draw three gestures on the screen (or the photo). Each gesture must either be a circle, a line between two points, or a tap. Once you have successfully confirmed and entered the gestures, the system will call up the photo at login. You will need to perform the same gestures, and if you get them all correct in the right order and direction, you will be given access to the system.
Technically, the image that you have selected will be divided into a grid. The longest dimension of the image will be divided into 100 segments. The shorter dimension is then divided on that scale to create the grid upon which you draw gestures.
While setting up the gesture, individual points are defined by their coordinates (x,y) position on the grid. For instance, the line gesture will have starting and ending coordinates. The coordinate points will be saved in the system, and when you’re attempting to login with Picture Password, the system evaluates the gesture you provide, and compares them in the background. If it matches, you’re given access to the system. Otherwise, the authentication will fail.
The new feature will only work on touchscreen devices, like smartphone, tablet, or touchscreen PC, since it involves finger gestures on the screen.
Also Read: Windows 8: When Two Worlds Collide
The new feature definitely sounds interesting and I’m looking forward/quite curious to trying/try it. However, we’re not sure how secure the picture password is. Microsoft should probably allow free-form movements rather than the three gestures. What do you think of the new Picture Password? Do you think it’ll be secure enough?