Imagine one ring, rather, one bracelet to rule them all, allowing you to leave your keys and wallet at home and banish lengthy, character-filled passwords from your mind.
That’s what the Nymi bracelet would let users do. But what if someone took your bracelet, would your valuables be vulnerable?
Not likely because the keycode Nymi uses to unlock your car, log on to your computer and pay for your groceries is your own unique heartbeat.
This isn’t the first time TheBlaze has reported on a heartbeat translating into a personalized password. Researchers at National Chung Hsing University had a proof of concept last year, which delved into this idea.
The device by the Canadian company Bionym uses ECG authentication and motion sensing to perform a variety of functions.
As its website states,”The Nymi tells the world, you are you, allowing you to securely communicate your identity to all of your favorite devices.”
Here’s more on exactly how the device works:
When you clasp the Nymi around your wrist it powers on. By placing a finger on the topside sensor while your wrist is in contact with the bottom sensor, you complete an electrical circuit. After you feel a vibration and see the LEDs illuminate, your Nymi knows you are you and your devices will too. You will stay authenticated until your Nymi is taken off.
Check out this promotional video showing many different ways Nymi could be used:
Based on some of the examples in the promo video — opening a hotel room door or paying for a latte — applications that accept Nymi as tool still have to be developed as well, which is why the company has an app developers community as well.
Nymi believes its system could give users more security in an age where everything seems require a log-in password or key.
“To take control of your identity you must have your Nymi, your unique heartbeat and an Authorized Authentication Device (AAD), which would be a smartphone or device registered with our app. The Nymi is also built upon the principles of Privacy by Design, which means that only you control and access your identity and personal information,” Nymi’s website stated.
“The unique thing about the ECG, is that it’s being produced inside your body,” Bionym founder Dr. Karl Martin told The Verge about the device. Unlike other biometic identification, like a finger print or iris image, which can be captured and stolen, a heartbeat is more hidden.
Although, Nymi wouldn’t necessarily prevent devices from being hacked into per se, it could reduce password vulnerability and would streamline some activities.
Nymi is currently on pre-order for $79 with first shipments expected in 2014. Once 25,000 orders have been placed, the price will jump to $99.