Wristbands, lately, seem to be all the rage. Ever since Livestrong started the trend with their rubber yellow bands, a revolution has begun. Nymi, an electronic wristband by Bionym, is the latest device aimed at taking your wristly real estate. (Yes, I did just coin the word wristly) This wrist band monitors your heart rate, identifies patterns, and creates a baseline personality profile based on the unique bio-metric reading of your heart beat. This reading is then used as a form of authentication.
This unique heart beat finger print, or “cardiac rhythm“, will then allow you to unlock a myriad of different devices and services. One of the primary uses of the device would be as a form of mobile payment using the Bitcoin app on the device. With many consumers concerned about using mobile forms of payment due to a lack of trust and understanding in the software and hardware, Nymi has a unique opportunity to provide security on a much deeper level. Cardiac rhythm as a form of authentication is brand new, meaning that there will likely be a learning curve before hackers can identify an effective way around the authentication. This makes for one of the most secure devices soon to be on the market.
Additionally, the actual payment information is stored on the device itself requiring a biometric match prior to accessing the payment information. This is significantly more secure than storing the information in the cloud using standard encryption due to not being connected to any networks except when authenticating payments. This is further validated by Bionym’s Chief Cryptographer in a press release when he stated, ” the wallet is physically stored on the Nymi. The Nymi’s multi-factor system, including its ECG biometric, ensures secure Bitcoin storage tied to the rightful owner.”
Additionally, the device will not be limited to just payment apps. Bionym envisions the device being used in a variety of forms of authentication. This could range from logging into something as simple as Netflix to unlocking your front door. The possibilities are endless, yet the science of the security is sound.
The device is set to ship sometime this fall and can be pre-ordered on their website here. What are your thoughts on the device? Does using biometrics bring a level of security that would make you comfortable with a new form of payment? Let us know in the comments below.