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At long last we’re about to start user testing Shayype. It’s taken us a while to get here, but like most good things, we’re sure it’ll be worth the wait. If you’re able to take part in the trials we’ll be launching very soon using our own online test facility, this is a brief summary of what’s happening.

The idea (obviously) is to demonstrate on as large a scale as possible that human beings are able to use Shayype easily and intuitively (apologies to any robots reading this – ‘bot’ out - this isn’t for you!).

You’ll be invited to set up your own Shayype trial account, with your own secret Shayype pattern. Once this is set up, you’ll receive (by email) a schedule of suggested dates and times for you to log in. Why do we want you to stick to a schedule? It’ll help us enormously with our research if people say leave different intervals between logins – one of the main reasons being to ascertain how reliable our memories are. (But there’s plenty of lee-way, and we won’t expect you to be up logging-in at 2am – unless you want us to!)

PSE is on our side

However we’re confident that a phenomenon known as Picture Superiority Effect (PSE) ( which shows that pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words, will weigh heavily on our side.

Actually, as a species we use graphics and patterns every day, probably more than we’re aware, and Shayype cleverly taps into this. Lots of us for instance remember telephone numbers, banking PINs, alarm codes etc, by the graphical pattern or shape we’ve set up mentally and applied to the keypad.
But more on this as we go. We’ll be revisiting PSE a lot. We’ll also be looking at the huge risks we all face when it comes to Civil Liberties and the potential increase in “passive” biometrics. An example of this might be the potential widespread use of facial recognition without our knowledge or permission.

A number of consumer and civil rights groups – especially in the US – kicked off about this two years ago, and perhaps knocked the passive biometrics trend back on its heels. Our view is that “active” authentication, i.e. something we have control over, will serve us and the world far better.

We hope Shayype can play a part in that, so once again your participation as an early trialist may well help the world in more ways than any of us know.

January 09, 2017 | By Jonathan Craymer

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