Future of Passwords


Future of Password is an exploration of how augmented reality can give new meanings to ordinary activities. It was a one-week project during the course Immersive Experiences at CIID, and my teammates were Amit Aggarwal, Shailee Advani, and Yang Li. I was involved in all phases of the design process, including research, insight generation, prototyping, and coding.


We had the task of investigating how to turn physical inputs to digital outputs and digital inputs to physical outputs. After exploring various concepts, we chose to make something invisible visible.


Every day, all of us utilize passwords to unlock our phones, access our social media accounts, or to make banking transactions. But passwords seem to live exclusively in the digital world, and it isn't obvious to understand how they work.

Future of Password explores how the intangible concept of passwords might manifest itself in the physical world. We represented a password in the form of four cubes with seemingly identical sides to the naked eye. If you align the cubes correctly, your account is unlocked.

But because this would be almost impossible for a human being, you can use an Augmented Reality enabled phone to see that the cubes have a virtual puzzle on their surfaces. Having the virtual puzzle as your guide makes the task of arranging the cubes much easier while at the same time keeping it difficult for anyone without the device to access your account.

Target audience

This added effort to have access to your phone or an app can be useful in many different contexts: for people who want to be mindful of how much time they spend on social media, or for any kind of application that requires an extra layer of security.


We did a design sprint in which we used Monday for finding the concept, Tuesday for ideation, Wednesday for prototyping, Thursday for testing, and Friday for reflection.

Concept. After desk research and many rounds of brainstorm, we chose passwords as an ideal topic to explore further. That is because passwords are usually associated with the digital world, and we are always required to make our passwords stronger, even though that makes it harder for humans to memorize it.

Exploration on things that only exist virtually

Bodystorming. We bodystormed the key interactions to quickly prototype the feel of the interaction on AR and to have a shared understanding of how the concept would work. For augmented reality and virtual reality projects, bodystorming is immensely valuable to learn early on how the interaction works.

Bodystorming the key interaction

Physical prototyping. To further iterate the concept, we built fast low-fidelity prototypes that helped us make decisions on how the interaction would work.

Simulating how the physical part of the project would work

Digital prototyping. We started building the AR environment on Unity using Vuforia for the detection and tracking of the cuboid fiducials.

First tests with the cuboid marker in Unity with Vuforia. There was a lot of learning through trial and error to find the right size and texture for the cubes

Refining the interaction. After we developed the first version of the working prototype, we kept iterating it further – adding animation and digital signifiers, for example – to create an enjoyable experience.


We built a working prototype using Unity, Vuforia, Raspberry Pi, and Spacebrew by Sensory.cc.

Would you like to discuss this project with me?

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