Cool New Tech: The Bracelet You’ll Never Want to Take Off
Ever dreamed of living in a world where every device was intelligent and responded to your gestures, voice, and movements? You’d walk into a room and the lights would switch on, your music would resume playing, the fireplace would light up with artificial flames, and the thermostat would activate to your preferred temperature. Have you ever dreamed of a smooth, simplified way of identifying yourself so that credit cards, identification cards, and passwords were a thing of the past?
Dream no longer.
A Canadian startup entitled Bionym is engineering a device to make your wildest dreams come true. They’ve developed a smart bracelet titled Nymi Band that uses an ECG sensor to read your heartbeat, which it uses to identify who you are. That alone sounds pretty cool, right? Who knew your heartbeat could be used like a fingerprint?
But it gets better. The band sends your identification to its companion app on your smartphone via Bluetooth and this allows Nymi Band to become your ubiquitous identification tool. Currently it can be used to automatically unlock accounts and devices and provide you with notifications from your smartphone, but Bionym dreams of expanding Nymi Band beyond just these basic capabilities. They want to integrate it into the farthest reaches of our identification-centered technological age. Their promo video shows Nymi being used to pop open your trunk or extend your car door handles with gestures, wake up and unlock your devices when you get close to them, pay at a cashier stand without needing a credit card or cash, automatically unlock your hotel room door, wake up your thermostat and TV to your most recent settings, and resume playback with a gesture.
Now I know this technology is still in its early phases, but allow me a little bit of imagination: Can you imagine how much time you could save by not having to unlock, power on, or navigate back to your most recent settings? By not having to dig out your credit card or keys? I don’t know about you, but this kind of hands-free, wireless technology could save me a lot of time and effort. I wouldn’t even need a purse, because there’d be no need for a wallet with cards or cash, no need for a Driver’s License or room key, and no need for my car keys. Plus, no more getting lost abroad – the technology would be ubiquitous, and there’s no reason the database couldn’t be too. Get lost in Paris? No problem! Just swipe your wrist over a reader and the authorities will know who you are and not toss you in jail or keep you in the country against your will.
Uses for Nymi Band
Now I know what you’re thinking – a technology this powerful needs some serious security backing it up. No worries! The advantage of using your cardiac rhythm over your fingerprint is that it’s way harder to hack. It can’t be reproduced or copied as easily, and can’t be hacked as easily as the current fingerprint readers on most smartphones (and other devices). Plus, the band comes with a cryptographic chip embedded in it for maximum security, and apps will have to ask permission before gaining access to your ECG information.
This is the part where you’re asking me where to sign up. The band is available for preoder for $80 from Bionym’s website, but don’t think this is the cure to all your problems. Like I said, it’s currently only useful for unlocking accounts and devices and providing you with notifications as per your customized settings. But can’t you see where this technology is headed? I’m excited. Are you?