speculative authentication


After stumbling across this website documenting the work of a group of artists, designers, and technologists creating speculative authentication methods, I became intrigued. Although they used machine learning in their implementations, I was curious whether I could implement a method that doesn't use machine learning, but still bypasses the traditional word password model.

After playing with color as a password, I changed my approach to using pixel art as a speculative authentication method. Still very much a work in progress (particularly around encryption/hashing/salting/security), but an intriguing exercise in reimagining how we authenticate ourselves online and wondering the possible "what ifs" around it.

Screenshot of the homepage for speculative authentication project, a grid of small white squares with black outlines, a handful of filled in squares in a rainbow of colors and a log in and sign up button Landing page for the speculative authentication project

Users can select a sequence of tiles anywhere from 5 to 25. The text on the right will alert the user when they've used too many tiles.

As a designer + artist, I would definitely describe myself as visually inclined. I thought that an authentication method that focused on a visual implementation could be useful in more playful applications, such as a game or other interactive application.

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