Why You Need Google’s New “Invisible reCAPTCHA”

Why You Need Google’s New “Invisible reCAPTCHA”

Invisible reCAPTCHA

The Future Of Public Turing Tests : The Invisible reCAPTCHA


Example of a reCAPTCHA.

Anyone who has used the internet the past decade must be familiar with the CAPTCHA, it’s the small checkpoint you see when a website is testing your humanity, usually after a form fill. This often irritating delay in your browsing experience has affected us all. Incomprehensible text with an unforgiving algorithm often has many of us trying again, and again, to get it right. Some improvements have been made over the years, you may have even used an Invisible reCAPTCHA without even knowing it. A frustrating system that could always be better, that’s where Google comes in.


In 2009 Google acquired the reCAPTCHA system, and has been making improvements to the design ever since. For example, in 2013 Google started using behavioral analysis to determine the likelihood that someone was a bot. If it thought the user might not be human it would give them a more difficult test, and no test if the user is obviously human. The result of this work was the “noCAPTCHA” reCAPTCHA. Instead of hard to read text it uses a simple button to test you, the “I am not a robot” button. If it thinks you’re a bot then more tests follow, otherwise you’re good to go. The introductio nof this button was praised not only for the simplicity, but for the accessibility it gave to users with reading, or sight, disabilities.

CAPTCHA, which stands forĀ “Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart,” hasĀ undergone many changes since its conception in 2003. Through praise and criticism it has still retained its main goal of keeping bots out. Now Google is taking it a step further with their Invisible reCATPCHA. This new addition to internet security uses information already gathered to decide whether or not to show the reCAPTCHA. The goal is a user experience that’s free of invasive and irritating Turing tests, while keeping the same level of security we’ve grown accustomed to.




This morning I discovered the new Invisible reCAPTCHA and immediately implemented it on a few sites. While still in beta Google has yet to announce exactly when we can expect a full version of the Invisible reCAPTCHA, but I do know that it has been testing it for several months. Without much of a difference in the two systems I doubt it will have an extreme impact “on the line,” since I expect most users to continuing seeing the old fashion reCAPTCHA. But only time will tell how well this new system works day to day.