With the Nymi wristband, your heart signal is the password

I just read an article on the Nymi wearable from Bionym and am impressed with this tech. I think that biometric security based on unique, dynamic identifiers such as the wearer’s ECG pattern in this case is truly innovative. The fail-safe features such as requiring the device to know when it is being worn vs. when it has been taken off of the authorized user, and a “liveness” requirement (meaning the user has to be alive and assumedly not in cardiac arrest for this to work) eliminate some of the common methods for defeating things like facial recognition, iris scans, and fingerprints (all of which, morbidly enough, can be accomplished without the authorized user being alive and/or retaining possession of the authenticating body part). I haven’t seen how they account for things like pacemakers, exercise, certain cardiac anomalies or conditions, and other factors that could potentially vary one’s ECG pattern, but it’s certainly a technology with vast potential. Definitely will be watching these guys, and would love to be able to test this technology in mHealth and other healthcare settings as an opportunity to integrate with SSO solutions.

Gigaom

What if you could unlock your car door or log into Facebook just by standing nearby? There’s a whole range of technologies that will make this possible very soon, from smart locks you can open with a phone app to ingestible biosensors.

Toronto-based Bionym revealed a “Nymi” wristband Tuesday that uses the wearer’s unique heart electrical activity as an authenticator. Paired with a car lock or laptop login screen, it can ensure the wearer is who they say they are and automatically log them in. It can also be used as a payment system at a cash register and to communicate personalized information to connected devices.

“Every time you enter a password or even use a physical key or key card, you’re having to take some sort of action to authenticate your identity. You have to do something, whether it takes a few seconds or several seconds,” Bionym CEO Karl Martin…

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