Nymi's cardiac rhythm technology: a device for any secure service?

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy February 3, 2014
Nymi claims we can secure many devices with our unique cardiac rhythms. Is that so? If so then there is a world of possibility.

Last week I heard about Nymi, a device currently in pre-order that claims to '...tell the world, you are you, allowing you to securely communicate your identity to all of your favourite devices.' It works on the idea that everyone's cardiac rhythm is unique. If correct then there are all sorts of possibilities.

Nymi highlights services such as secure hotel door opening, connectivity matched to mobile devices and vehicle security as examples of what might be possible.

The Nymi site invites developers to check out its SDK as it seeks to ramp applications. This makes a lot of sense but right now I only see a smattering of ideas. Why?

When party to conversations around the so-called 'internet of things' I am frequently left head scratching. Benioff's wi-fi enable toothbrush may sound fun but do we really have the panoply of applications needed to fundamentally change wellbeing and health? Do we even know what kinds of application we need or want? Right now I sense we are 'looking through the glass darkly.' Hence Nymi's exhortation to build a developer ecosystem that can see beyond the device.

But is this real?

When I posted to Facebook on the topic, Chris Middleton weighed in, saying his 'scept-0-meter' went on high alert at the thought that our cardiac rhythms might be as individual as fingerprints. There have been Skeptik discussions on the topic that cast doubt on its reality. The science behind the theory is certainly mind boggling and I make no expert or even enthusiastic amateur claims. Even so, I find the prospect of wearing a device that conforms to Nymi's claims an intriguing prospect. Why?

It seems to me there are so many confusing discussions around privacy and identity with few, if any obvious solutions, that if Nymi has cracked the code so to speak and in such a simple manner then there is plenty of reason to expect this will be widely appreciated and built upon.

Whatever the story - I'm in. For once, I genuinely want to see where this goes from an early stage in its development.

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