Googly eyes. Pig face. Glass of wine. Kimono. This could be your banking PIN, if Intelligent Environments has its way. Emoji passcodes are the new thing, says the British firm.
Emojis are considered to be the world's fastest growing language. Apple introduced “diverse emoji” on iOS8.3; you can have different skin tones for your pictographs now. On April 11, Andy Murray tweeted his entire wedding day in emojis, starting from a grinning sun and ending in zzz.
But, Intelligent Environments is more interested in security than linguistics. They say: “Traditional PIN = 7,290 unique permutations of four non-repeating numbers vs Emoji Passcode = 34,98,308 million unique permutations of non-repeating emojis, based on a selection size of 44 emoji.”
The company also says that human beings have excellent visual recall, and, hence, the chances of forgetting an emoji passcode are less.
On top of these two technical reasons, there is a crowning, demographic reason. Millennials! This crucial demographic is communicating using emojis, and, hence, it makes perfect business sense to talk their lingo.
Linguists are not too chuffed by the emoji tsunami. Why evolve from hieroglyphics to complex grammar if all you want to do is go back and draw stick figures in the sand, they ask. Um, where is the sticking-my-tongue-out-at-you emoji?