Smartphones, tablets and even cars could soon be unlocked by sensors that read unique heartbeat patterns.
Personal recognition has become a popular method of electronic security, with facial recognition and fingerprint scanning on the rise and iris scans used at airport security.
But soon heartbeats could be used instead of traditional passwords to unlock personal devices.
Biometric authentication means that passwords may soon become a thing of the past as Canadian startup Bionym has developed wearable technology that reads individual’s heartbeats.
The Nymi wristband contains an electrocardiogram sensor that reads the unique heartbeat pattern of the wearer to authenticate and wirelessly unlock smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and cars.
It may even be used to pay for shopping, or act as a replacement for your credit card PIN number.
According to Foteini Agrafioti, co-founder of Bionym, the Nymi identifies people "not just (by) their heart rate, but the actual shape of their heartbeat."
Heartbeats, like fingerprints are unique to each individual person as the rhythm is affected by heart shape, size and position in the chest.
However, unlike fingerprints, a heartbeat is near impossible to replicate. While fingerprints can be reproduced with jelly or recovered from surfaces, the wristband is reportedly 99% accurate.
"When you clasp the Nymi around your wrist it powers on. By placing a finger on the topside sensor while your wrist is in contact with the bottom sensor, you complete an electrical circuit. After you feel a vibration and see the LEDs illuminate, your Nymi knows you are you and your devices will too. You will stay authenticated until your Nymi is taken off," said the Nymi website.
"The Nymi functions on a 3-factor security system. To take control of your identity you must have your Nymi, your unique heartbeat and an Authorized Authentication Device (AAD), which would be a smartphone or device registered with our app."
Developers hope the new technology will soon replace the traditional passwords and PIN codes that are easily forgotten, stolen or hacked.
Nymi is also developing motion sensing and proximity detection to allow users to perform remote, gesture-specific commands, such as twisting your wrist to open a locked door.