Passwords could be replaced with 'heartbeat' authentication

With hacking and data breach stories keeping everyone on high alert about security issues, one start-up company may have come up with an alternative to traditional password authentication in order to keep our sensitive data and files safer.

Canadian company Bionym has created a wearable device that will allow people to use their heartbeat, reports Forbes, bypassing the need for the standard textual passwords that are frequently shown to be relatively unsecure.

The wearable is called the Nymi, and is worn as a wristband that can be used to unlock devices via the wearer's heart rhythm. The sensor on the device measures the heart's electrical activity, and this can be used to gain access in a much more secure way. It is claimed that a person's heart rhythm is as unique as a fingerprint.

Karl Martin, CEO and founder of the company, said in a press release: "We're establishing the Nymi as the de facto platform for persistent, trusted identity, and this round of financing is providing us with the resources needed to bring the platform to market."

There is also scope to use the biometric authentication method with Internet of Things technology, tying into the adoption of smart devices around the home.

Nick Sturiale, Managing Partner of Ignition Partners, added: "We see the Nymi as a potentially game changer. With the breadth and depth of third party application developer commitments, its clear there is tangible excitement at the numerous use cases presented by extending identity and presence from the smart phone onto the wrist."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at