As much as we would like to believe that passwords keep our devices and lives safe, there is no guarantee with a simple string of some combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to keep intruders out of our personal information. A password is not something unique enough – it’s not something that is exclusively specific to each person. Recent developments have been working to eliminate this uncertainty with the introduction of Nymi, a wristband designed to recognize you by your heartbeat.
Nymi began as a technology intended to be integrated into a phone/tablet, and now has developed as its own individual device without ties to any one certain other device. It confirms your identity on its own, and then connects through Bluetooth to all of your devices – your phone, tablet, laptop, car, etc. For example, after connecting with Nymi, your phone would automatically unlock when you pick it up and then unlock once you set it back down again.
Since the whole authentication process is done through Bluetooth, users may question the security of the device. That’s why Nymi is equipped with a cryptography chip to ensure only the apps you authorize are receiving your information. And once Nymi has been removed, that authentication is broken.
Nymi aims to create a better life for its users – that’s why it comes with six access motion sensors that can recognize programmable gestures, giving the user the power as to how their identity is used. This prevents the annoyance of, for example, your car becoming unlocked every time you walk past it. Program the Nymi to only unlock when you make a certain gesture near your car. Nymi also senses proximity depending on the device. To unlock your phone, you would need to be within a few inches, whereas you would only need to be within a few feet to unlock your car.
Nymi is also incredibly user-friendly and very speedy. Upon opening your Nymi, clip it onto your wrist and hold down a finger from the other hand on the metal sensor. It should only take about two minutes to calibrate the first time, and a few seconds for everyday use.
The Nymi is expected to be slim and convenient so users forget that it’s even there, and come in three colors: white, black, and orange. The device is available now on presale for $79 and is expected to ship in 2014. In a world full of technological improvements and developments every day, I hope that Nymi can make its mark as an essential device in improving users’ day-to-day lives.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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