Bionym bids to replace passwords with heartbeat

Bionym bids to replace passwords with heartbeat

Canadian start-up Bionym is promising to make passwords, keys and wallets relics of the past with a bracelet that authenticates its wearer through their heartbeat.

The Nymi bracelet has an embedded sensor which recognises the wearer's unique electrocardiogram (ECG) and communicates their identity to their devices - be that their computer, car or TV - using Bluetooth.

The system offers three-factor security because it requires a personalised bracelet, the owner's unique heartbeat and a smartphone registered to the Nymi app.

The bracelet also has a built in accelerometer and gyroscope to track the wearer's movement, enabling them to carry out tasks using gestures. Users can also create custom notifications, allowing for connection to e-mails, texts, social updates and more.

Bionym is preparing to release its APIs and SDKs to developers who can put the technology to practical use. In a promotional video, the firm suggests that its technology could be used to access online banking, pay at the point-of-sale, open car doors and control smart TVs.

The bracelet has just been made available for pre-order for US$79, with the first batch set to ship in early 2014. The app will be available on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OSX.

Karl Martin, CEO, Bionym, says: "The Nymi has been built by the principles of Privacy by Design. This means that each user has complete control over their data and identity. Transparency is very important to Bionym's culture, and every user has a right to know where their data is going."

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