Thursday, September 05, 2013

Device-agnostic Nymi wristband authenticates you using your heartbeat

Think fingerprint recognition, retina scans or facial recognition are the be-all and end-all of security? Not so, says Bionym, which introduced a heartbeat recognition device on Tuesday (via BetaKit).

It's calle Nymi. It features an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor which identifies the unique characteristics of a user's heartbeat, pairing that personal ECG to a Nymi device.

The key here is that Nymi is a pair once, authenticate everywhere (that supports Nymi, at least) solution. Bionym was originally going to go with a biometric product, but decided that a wearable device that could authenticate with any device -- think iPhone, iPad, or Android -- assuming the device supports the technology.

Thinking it through, this could mean one Nymi device could unlock your car door, log into your PC, unlock your Samsung Galaxy S4 or iPhone, and more. Thus, rather than having to set up your security on every device, you only need to do it once.

Nymi's battery life is expected to be "up to one week with USB charging possible.

Nymi also has motion and proximity sensors, meaning that gesture-based logins are possible. For example, a user could flick the wristband up to unlock their car door, while a twist instead unlocks the trunk.

The Nymi became available for pre-order on Tuesday. The first set of 25,000 units will be available for $79.99 with a limit of four devices per customer. Bionym is expected to begin shipping Nymi in early 2014.

The $79 price is a pre-order promotion. Once that first lot is allocated, Nymi's price will rise to $99. Consumers who are interested can reserve one at

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