Nymi Bracelet: Tech-Accessory May Replace Passwords


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Is this the future of passwords? A rather simple bracelet that tracks your heartbeat?

Bionym, a Canadian start-up says, Yes!

The Nymi bracelet uses your unique cardiac rhythm as your password, authenticating that you are who you say you are with a wireless connection to your device. The company promotes use with computers, smartphones, cars, etc. It also is advertised to allow for customizing notifications, pushing your emails and social media updates. Pre-ordering is available for $79 a bracelet before it comes on the market in 2014 (come 2014, units will be $99 each).

The authentication begins as soon as you click the bracelet closed and locks any other user out. You actually will need three things to close the loop: heartbeat, bracelet and a paired mobile device.

Skeptics warn that there is insufficient information provided to test the bracelet's technology to prove it's the next best techno-gadget. CEO of the creating company, Karl Martin, said that formal security audits have yet to be performed.

"This could be a very nice technology and an upgrade over password security for most users... I'd like to see something like this work out. I just hope that they get some security experts to vet this before people trust it for anything important," says researcher Joe Bonneau, whose PhD thesis is on passwords and personal identification numbers.

The tech-accessory is drawing comparisons to the NFC ring which is designed to perform similar basic functions, unlocking smartphones, etc. The ring, from UK-based Kickstarter, should be shipping this month and starting prices are around $35 each.

The jury may still be out, but Bionym is courting other tech developers and innovations from "enhanced gaming experiences to safer banking."

For now, the Nymi will support Windows, OS X, Android and iOS.
[Image via www.getnymi.com]