Fingerprint biometric scanning is so 20th century. Anyone can recreate a unique fingerprint with a high definition photograph. Even facial recognition software can be compromised with a high quality printer. What we really need is something that reads what is on our insides so that no one can copy it.

The Nymi Band uses your heartbeat as a biometric authentication credential by measuring your electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a signal that the band’s creator claims is unique to each person’s heart.

Nymi Band_3 Colours

The band is outfitted with a continuity circuit, which registers when it has been taken off of the user’s wrist. It also features an ECG reader, which rests right on the user’s wrist.

Users place their finger on top of the band while it is connected to their wrist, which completes the circuit and creates a reading. Then, the band matches that heartbeat against the users’ original scan (or template) to determine their identity.

The Nymi Band is currently only available to developers as a Discovery Kit for $150. The company hopes to generate multiple uses from a variety of developers, including unlocking PCs and smartphones, unlocking doors, touch-free payments, and more.

The company has postponed shipping to consumers until the device is ready for public consumption. Currently, the focus is on creating a useful Nymi Ecosystem, which will offer different ways in which the device can be used for security and convenience.

If all goes according to plan, the company hopes to have the heartbeat biometric scanner on store shelves by the end of 2015

Via Tom’s Hardware

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3 replies on “The Nymi Band uses heartbeat biometrics to authenticate user ID”

  1. It makes no sense to expect a biometric product operated with a backup/fallback password to displace a password. A+B cannot be an alternative to A.

    Biometrics would help for better security only when it is operated together with another factor by AND/Conjunction (we need to go through both of the two), not when operated with another factor by OR/Disjunction (we need only to go through either one of the two) as in the cases of Touch ID and many other biometric products on the market which require a backup/fallback password.

    Incidentally, it is not possible to compare the strength of biometrics operated on its own with that of a password operated on its own. There are no objective data about the overall vulnerability of biometric solutions (not just false acceptance rate when false rejection is near-zero but also the risk of forgery of body features and the risk of use when the user is unconscious) and that of the
    passwords (not only that it may be as low as 10 bits or as high as 100 bits but also that it can be stolen and leaked.)

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