I would like to share a new great service that I’ve stumbled across, reCAPTCHA. Most people will know what CAPTCHA is, a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a computer. You’ve probably seen them a colorful images with distorted text at the bottom of Web registration forms.

Recaptcha is a clever way to get humans to read and input scanned text that computers (OCR) program struggle with. Basically instead of just one word that the user will type there are two; the first being a CAPTCHA image and the second an imaged which has been scanned in which is unreadable by OCR. The assumption is that if the first word is typed in correctly than the second word will probably correct.


reCAPTCHA reckon that “About 60 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. Individually, that’s not a lot of time, but in aggregate these little puzzles consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day”.

Registration and use of the service is free of charge and you receive an API key for each domain you want to use it on.

Personally I think this is an absolutely great idea and as soon as i can i’ll be incorporating it into my ext project.