The Science Behind the Nymi
Bionym has developed the first wearable authentication device that utilizes a user's Electrocardiogram (ECG) to validate a person’s identity. The Nymi has two electrodes, one on the wrist and one on the top. To authenticate, a user must attach the Nymi, and then place their finger on the top electrode to complete the electric current. A user only needs to validate their identity once, until the Nymi is removed. The closed loop keeps the Nymi in an authenticated state, removing all need for repeated prompts (such as in fingerprint scanning or PIN requests).
Once authenticated, the Nymi communicates the user’s identity to a device (such as a smartphone, vehicle, elctronic lock, or even a smart environtment) using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The Nymi not only uses the BLE to reliably communicate with the world, but it also uses it to sense how far away it is from devices (proximity detection). The Nymi allows users to interact with the world as a person, not as a number.
The Nymi also has an integrated accelerometer and gyroscope, which will pick up on your movements, allowing for simple, task-specific gesture recognition. Motion sensing works in unison with proximity detection and identity authentication to ensure only you can remotely access the devices you want to engage with.
The potential for the Nymi is wide open! We want to push the envelope on what can be accomplished with secure identity, proximity and motion. As we reach out into consumer electronics, we are looking to add developers to our community.
The Nymi has the potential to revolutionize banking, gaming, smartphones, social media, exercise, dining and so much more. The ability to use identity in conjunction with motion control opens up a dynamic, interactive world.
The benefit of the Nymi's new and exciting ECG authentication is that it is highly secure without compromising convenience. The Nymi has a 3-Factor system ensures that you and only you have access to your Nymi, and control of your identity. To access the Nymi you must first have possession of the wristband. Second, you must possess your unique heart rhythm, and finally, you must have access to the secure application on a registered smartphone. Once you've authenticated, you will remain authenticated so long as the wristband is not removed.
Furthermore, an integrated hardware-based secure element prevents digital skimming and spoofing. Security is a big priority, and a wide-open field for ideas. Finally, the very nature of using a unique ECG to validate an identity is more secure than using other biometrics. Your cardiac rhythm is protected inside your body, making it almost impossible to steal, mimic or circumvent. In comparison, a fingerprint is left on every surface a user touches.
When you’re dealing with identity, privacy is a massive deal. The team here at Bionym is very concerned with privacy, and that’s why we embrace Privacy by Design. You are in complete control of your identity and personal data. No device or person can recognize your identity without explicit opt-in. This is controlled right down to the hardware level, enforced by the embedded secure element.