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Bionym launches wearable biometric authentication device


Toronto-based Bionym has just launched the Nymi, a new wearable biometric authentication device that uses an embedded electrocardiogram sensor for identification.

The wearable bracelet recognizes unique ECG patterns and interfaces directly with mobile devices as a replacement for passwords and PIN numbers. Worn on the wrist, the Nymi keeps users authenticated until it’s removed.   In addition, says the company, the Nymi supports simple, task-specific gesture commands using both motion sensors and proximity detection.

Bionym_Nymi_colors_stackedECG patterns are unique to humans and are based on heart size, shape and position in the body. The company’s system for authentication is based on co-founder Foteini Agragioti’s PhD research.

According to Karl Martin, the company’s CEO, the Nymi is $79 for pre-orders and an SDK will be launched in early fall for developers. So far, says Martin, Bionym has seen a lot of developer interest and that’s something the company is excited about.

“We want developers on board to bring value to the platform,” Martin said.

“When it comes to identity, privacy is a chief concern. The Nymi has been built by the principles of Privacy by Design. This means that each user has complete control over their data and identity. Transparency is very important to Bionym’s culture, and every user has a right to know where their data is going.”

BiometricUpdate.com spoke with Martin and Bionym earlier this year from the company’s old head office at the University of Toronto. The company has now grown to eight people and by the end of the year, aims to be a team of 12. With a new office in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighborhood and a fresh round of funding, Martin is excited about further developing the social and digital opportunities unlocked by Bionym’s new wearable device.

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