Bionym, a Toronto-based technology start-up, has launched the Nymi: a biometric technology wristband that authenticates the user through their unique heartbeat, allowing them to connect wirelessly to their various devices – such as smartphones, tablets, computers and even their car – completely bypassing passwords, PINs and locks.

Our daily lives are filled with prompts for identification, whether it be our smartphone’s pincode, our laptop’s password, our credit card pin or the key to open our car. However, with the Nymi we could bypass all of that as it seamlessly and securely allows us access to all of our devices.

The idea for the Nymi was born out of Bionym, which was founded in 2011 by University of Toronto engineering graduates. Its two founders – Karl Martin and Foteini Agrafioti – have since utilised theexpertise of a growing team, including biometrics, development, business and communications, to create a much-needed product that addresses identity in the digital world.

“We’ve noticed the increase of important and sensitive information online, now accessible through smartphones. We’ve been harassed by the endless stream of prompts, passwords, PINs and locks. We’ve lost our identities to the endless stream of numbers and logins,” describes Martin.

“Well, we’ve found a better solution that both heightens personal security and allows a user to take back their identity. We’ve solved it with a heartbeat.”

The Nymi uses a person’s unique electrocardiogram (ECG) to authenticate their identity through an embedded sensor. Once authenticated, the Nymi communicates the user’s identity to a device (such as a smartphone, vehicle, electronic lock or even a smart environment) using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE),bypassing any verification obstacles.

“It’s a personalised solution that allows you to access the technology you love on your terms,” adds Martin.

The Nymi also has an integrated accelerometer and gyroscope, which will pick up on movements, allowing for simple, task-specific gesture recognition. This motion sensing and proximity detection allows users to perform remote, gesture-specific commands. For instance, a simple twist of the wrist can unlock a car door.

Although convenient and easy to use, what about security?

“When it comes to identity, privacy is a chief concern,” says Martin. “The Nymi has been built by the principles of Privacy by Design. This means that each user has complete control over their data andidentity. Transparency is very important to Bionym’s culture, and every user has a right to know where their data is going.”

Bionym is excited about the future and feels that the potential for something like the Nymi is endless and it is currently calling upon developers to interact with them. “Our plan is to work with these developers to revolutionise everything from gaming, to banking, to social! We’re ushering in an era of interactive identity,” says Martin.

The Nymi is currently available to preorder from Nymi’s website, with delivery planned for early 2014.

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