Wearable wristband device that provides identity as a service via person's unique cardiac rhythm (ECG)
While the Royal Bank of Canada has already teamed up with Bionym to test out the Nymi Band, Halifax is the first bank in the U.K. to test wearable electronic bands that use customers' heartbeats to verify their identity.
A company called Bionym created the Nymi, a wristband that works solely off your heart beat. It recognizes who you are and can be used to unlock doors, pay at a restaurant, and much more.
Toronto-based Bionym has struck a deal with Mastercard and a number of banks to do a pilot project where Canadians will use the wearable wrist band as a contact less payment method.
Bionym co-founder and CEO Karl Martin and InteraXon co-founder and CEO Ariel Garten took home top honours and $25,000 each for their work innovating wearable technology.
Bionym Inc., a Toronto-based company working on what could be the world's first wearable authentication device, announced today that manufacturing has begun on the Nymi Bad, a new wearable device designed to use your unique heart rhythms to authenticate your identity for everything from your smartphone to your car door is being shipped to developers.
Future-forward Canadian startup Bionym is working on it. The company just announced a $14 million Series A led by Ignition Partners and Relay Ventures who are banking on Bionym’s wearable, the Nymi catching on.
The best passwords are complicated and hard to remember. Even then, they're still hackable. Here are three start-ups creating better alternatives.
The Nymi armband from Toronto-startup Bionym is edging closer to reality, and a new partnership announced today helps make it more clear how it’ll be useful to everyday consumers. Bionym is teaming up with PasswordBox to make it possible to authenticate your mobile logins using your heart rate automatically, for super fast access to sites, devices and services.
At SXSW this year, Nymi ran an experiment to let users try out the technology at a series of pop-up events. For instance, when I registered for a demo wristband, I listed my favorite drink. When I tapped the wristband on a reader at the bar, the bartender made the drink and called me by name. At another event, users could use the Nymi to request their favorite songs from a DJ. Drinks and tunes may seem like superficial use cases, but it’s easy to imagine the implications for payment, device management, the connected home and personalization. The thing that excites me most about Nymi is its potential to eliminate the password. The modern password, with its mix of capital letters, numbers and punctuation, is a terrible user experience. Password managers try to mitigate the issue, but they’re hardly an elegant solution.
Toronto-based wearable startup Bionym’s Nymi band uses your ECG to securely identify you to various devices and services, and as of today there’s another trick up its sleeve – acting as a secure, easy to use Bitcoin wallet. The company revealed today that one of the launch applications that will ship with the Nymi will be a Bitcoin wallet, and that said wallet will provide a more secure method of storing your account’s private key...What Nymi brings to the table is a way to keep the private key securely stored independent of any computer, and tied to your unique ECG biometric signature. This makes it not only secure, but also more convenient than existing Bitcoin wallet solutions, Bionym President Andrew D’Souza explained in an interview.
Here are a few examples of how you could use Nymi. Let's say Bank of America develops an app for Nymi, that means you could simply wave your wrist any time you want to pay for something.Or, let's say you're deathly allergic to peanuts, have an allergic reaction, and end up unconscious on the street without your ID card. The emergency response team shows up, but they have no idea who you are or what happened to you. With Nymi, they could quickly figure out who you are, your medical history, and what you're allergic to.
Anyone who has watched a medical drama can picture an electrocardiogram (ECG)—the five peaks and troughs, known as a PQRST pattern (see picture), that map each heartbeat. The shape of this pattern is affected by such things as the heart’s size, its shape and its position in the body. Cardiologists have known since 1964 that everyone’s heartbeat is thus unique, and researchers around the world have been trying to turn that knowledge into a viable biometric system. Until now, they have had little success. One group may, though, have cracked it.
Among the most novel — and also somewhat unsettling — of biometric authentication tools is a new wristband developed by cryptographers at the University of Toronto. It contains a voltmeter to read a heartbeat. “You put it on. It knows it’s you. It communicates that identity securely to everything around you,” said Karl Martin, one of its creators. Security is a primary selling point of the wristband, Nymi. While a heart can be broken, Mr. Martin promises that a heartbeat cannot.
Like fingerprints, heart rhythms are unique. The peaks and troughs mapped out by an electrocardiogram are affected by the heart’s unique characteristics, including size and shape. A company called Bionym is working to make passwords obsolete by using a person’s heart rhythm as a biometric pass code.
Martin an his team have created the Nymi, a plastic wristband that is aiming to be the common thread that connects your identity to the smart devices of the future. Born out of research done at the University of Toronto, the device uses a biometric sensor to authenticate identity through a person’s unique electrocardiogram. Which is a fancy way of saying, the pattern of your heartbeat could be your new set of keys. The Bionym team found a way to extract features of your heartbeat that allows them to create a robust biometric template. So if you get nervous and your heart speeds up or you just ran a few miles, the waveform of your heartbeat might appear more condensed, but it’s still essentially the same pattern. The idea is that users will strap on the Nymi each morning, touch the topside sensor to read their ECG and will be constantly authenticated until they decide to take it off.
I like to create things. From rigging up spring-loaded pull toys as a toddler, to building circuits and robots in school. Most recently it’s been developing biometric and cryptographic systems as part of Bionym. My ultimate goal is to build things that people never thought possible. I have a B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Science, and M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering, all from the University of Toronto. My passion to create extends to photography, which I post to www.ethervizion.com.
Authentication industry veteran; formerly Chief Business Officer at Yubico
Andrew D'Souza was previosuly the Chief Operating Officer of Toronto-based Top Hat Monocle, a mobile learning platform for the classroom, where he led the company's sales, marketing and business development teams. He has contributed to Mashable, Business Insider, VC Journal and the Toronto Standard. Andrew studied Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo and began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company's media practice. A Canadian sports enthusiast, he took a short sabbatical to manage the events staff of the Whistler Media Center at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Andrew is on the organizing committee of TEDxSan Francisco and has been an advisor to Engineers Without Borders, Ashoka, the Khan Academy and a number of Canadian startups.
I’m an entrepreneur at heart. After receiving my Master of Applied Science from the University of Toronto, I co-founded the green energy start-up ARDA Power. Although I applied to be an astronaut for the CSA, my passion for electronics and technology led me to the Nymi. While interested in all things ECE, I love tinkering with FPGAs, micro-controllers and hacking old video game systems.
As VP of Manufacturing, James is responsible for all aspects of Bionym's production, manufacturing, sourcing and supply chain. Prior to Joining Bionym, James led the design, manufacture, and compliance of several consumer products company’s product launches. Most notably, for over 10 years he led the Air Hogs brand from a novelty air pressure toy to $200M+ global industry leader executing the most complex products in the category. James was responsible pioneering technologies into consumer’s hands such as the first mass-consumer mass-production application of Nitinol Wire (S.M.A.), 2.4 GHz radio controlled vehicles, and the first toy grade product using Lithium Polymer batteries; while implementing new quality standards and complying with a rapidly changing regulatory environment to ensure customer safety and satisfaction. James has a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from Ryerson Polytechnic University and has become recognized as a leader in complex high volume product launches due to multiple industry awards and a Guinness Book World Record.