The interview with Shawn Chance about Nymi band authentication device is available for watching with advanced students (the link is below the text)
Shawn -I am Shawn Chance, vice president of marketing at Nymi and I'm here today to talk to you about Nymi band which is what you see right here in front of you. More specifically this is something called the Nymi Band discovery kit which is our developer product. It’s a guide for developers and it's available at the current time at Nymi.com. The price on Nymi band discovery kit isa hundred forty nine dollars and with that you get the final hardware Nymi band what you see here. You also get the proprietary USB charging cable, you see here and you get the USB Bluetooth module to be used with Windows computers.
Interviewer – and people just wear the Nymi band on their wrist.
Shawn -Sure, yeah
Interviewer –Well, it looks like when you’re wearing it?
Shawn –yeah at your luggage I’d better show you with the lights battery flashing once you put it on. And once you put it on that light will tell you battery life and after that it will go in to its active state. So, it's actually looking right now to peer with an application. So, let me give you a quick overview of the Nymi band hardware. So, the Nymi band hardware has two primary parts. The first part is the actual band itself, this portion here and the band itself is actually not just made out of rubber. We have the continuity circuit running through it so you can actually see that. But that's how we detect that you actually have the Nymi band on. If someone were to take the Nymi band off you or cut it, it would actually deactivate the device.And this other part of Nymi band is called the Core. So, the Core itself has a sensor here so the bottom center underneath acts both as an adjustment for then any man to fine-tune sizing but this is also set against your wrist and as part of the mechanism we use to authenticate who you are based on your hearts unique signature or your ECG.
Interviewer –when you've got this before you go it was briefly and this one came up with the idea for your house, the Genesis.
Shawn –absolutely sure. So the Nymi band is a device that solves the big problem which is the problem of identity. And we think that the way that people provide their identity today is very problematic, creates a lot of friction we think it only can be approved that's why we came up with the Nymi band. So, if you think of all the different places you have to provide your identity, think of passwords, pins every time you use your credit card, think of access to physical spaces, think of unlocking your car, going through an airport, any of those things require transactional paper input from you as a user. Now imagine if you could just take all those different points of friction and make them melt away. That’s essentially what the Nymi band does. it's a device that does identity on your behalf in a persistent way and we do that using a very unique biometric which is your hear tbeat.So your heartbeat is as individual to you as fingerprinted, so everybody's is different and based on that the Nymi band is able to take a reading of your ECG when you actually place your finger on top of it completing a circuit through your body. And once you do that the Nymi band is able to take that reading and match it against your template to determine that you're actually you. Now once the Nymi band has established that you're actually you it will go into what we call and active state or an authenticative state and from that point forwardany device or service you specify can be, can be, for example, unlocked by the Nymi band. So I can give you an example of my Windows computer here.
Interviewer –That you mentioned that with the… the discovery kit there are three applications for Windows that you get.
Shawn –That's right so the Nymi band discovery kit comes with three different applications. The first one is the mini companion application which is the screening for your Nymi band. Essentially is what allows you to create your profile, to modify thatprofile, enhance it, delete it, and use those things. The second is the windows unlock application which is an application allows you to unlock your Windows computer without using a password. I'm using only an authorized Nymi band for authenticating. And the third application we are just about to release is actually a password vault which is very safe and secure way you store your passwords locally on your Windows computer on and from there only access those passwords if you have an activated Nymi band. Those are the first three applications we have been actually working right now on the Mac and Android and IOS versions those three applications.
Interviewer –So, let’s have a look at it in action
Interviewer –this is another computer pulling up the fingerprint reader?
Shawn –Yeah. They have the fingerprint readers again transaction also what we'll do is we'll fire up the… I’m gonna put on my Nymi band…. I’ll give you a scenario OK. So here's a here's a possible use case for the Nymi band. You wake up in the morning and you put on your Nymi band and so you put it on like this, you would wear by clasping the top, you then see these LED lights flashing telling you that battery life is four out of five so that eighty percent and then the Nymi band is looking to peer for device.
Interviewer –What is the battery life approximately?
Shawn –The battery life is approximately five days of the Nymi band. And the charge time is two hours. So I'm doing as I'm opening up my nanny companion application and I'm going to activate my Nymi band and I’ll prove that is actually me. So by clicking on this the Nymi band is now looking to authenticate my identity and I’m gonna do that by putting my finger on top of the band and if you look at the screen you'll see that it’s actually taking some more readings. They're yours after few brief moments now exactly just pulsed and vibrated on my wrist letting me know that it’s now in an active state. So, from this point on for as long as I wear Nymi band then and I don't break the magnetic clasp the Nymi band will stay in an activated state. So this one when I could do as close the application on and because I've set up the windows unlock on my computer. I’ll just go ahead and lock my computer. My computer is now locked and if I would have tried to do it again to get into normally I would have to take a password. What I'm gonna do is I’m gonna use my authenticated Nymi band and actually get into my computer. And to let some very simple I was going to click on the mini-icon here and now it's looking for my activated Nymi band which it has found and now and into my computer without using a password.
Interviewer –It’s a way to set up it doesn't need even clicking it when you are within range system.
Shawn –Sure there’re a lot of possibilities for this mechanism right now with Nymi band discovery kit. It is we’re using this type user flow. But in the future we really like the idea of offering users ability to for example, to lock their computer when they walk away from it or have it unlocked when they come a certain proximity from it.
Interviewer –Now I know that the three you actually mentioned but you are working with development for … some of the ideas your developers have. I also talk about the other big areas where you have a big push in mobile payments. How Nymi helps make mobile payments better.
Shawn –Sure, there's quite a few exciting things happening with Nymi this year you know. Aside from shipping the discovery kit we're doing some really exciting pilot projects with partners like RTC and MasterCard in Canada.So that that pilot actually is consisting of using your Nymi band as a device to make mobile payments. So by linking it to your MasterCard you’ll be able to then use an authenticated Nymi band and using the procedure you just saw here. And with an Nymi band authenticated you would be then be able to make a credit card payment in very safe and secure way. So, then we think that's a really interesting, interesting use case for the Nymi band because it solves all the problem to prove identity with credit cards. Another one thing that Nymi team is working on is the idea of physical space access. So, think right now how you’re getting to your, for example, your office space. We've got to break partners like Brivolabs. This is a company that does physical space access. We have demonstrated ways of using the Nymi band instead what you're using right now which is probably like a swipe card or a keyfob.
Interviewer –and again it could be as simple as not even having to do anything, you just walk up to the door if you’re wearing the band it’s unlocked.
Shawn –absolutely you know the idea being we want to try to change in a way that people think of providing their identity in going from something the right now transactional which is swiping, tapping pins and so onto literally walking through your environment and having devices and services you specify recognize you.
Interviewer –I wanna… and we talked about it earlier was that you are same with technology that could be licensed to hardware possibly to integrate another product. Right?
Shawn –Yes, for the Nymi band right now is the way that we are going to creating our ecosystem,you know, it is… our hard ware and you know we're creating a lot of first party applications right now as third-party aP's continue to come out in the build-up Nymico-system. You know we’ll have to see if there's other ways for us to broaden access that ecosystem that’s something we’ll be looking out for the down road.
Interviewer –and the last thing I wanted that readers know about is that … we were talking a little bit about security and how Nymi here and, and the biometric space is the next level of security, can be some stories lately about how people being noted, you know, read people's fingerprints photographs and so how… how would you think from security perspective? What makes Nymi the most secure biometric authentication?
Shawn –sure so I mean. I think everyone in the biometrics its own strengths and weaknesses and you know one other things that the inherent to things like fingerprint is the fact that you know they can be lifted in different ways. Whether they really like about the heartbeat and technology using someone ECG as in the Nymis that you're actually able to use something that's very much internal. It makes a lot more difficult to spew and also because at some remained relatively consistent within one individual overtime and is very unique, that is unique in the fingerprint is to an individual and that offers a brain you kinda biometric that that is interesting to use.
Interviewer –So I'm with the recap just though people don't forget this is available now?
Shawn – Surewe've actually just released the Nymi band discovery kit for any international viewers overseeing this, and it's available for 149 dollars at Nymi.com. I’m really excited to see what developers start building with them.
Interviewer –Well, thanks for taking the time talk to us. I'm looking forward to, may be, to have test it out myself. Also the Android application I'm excited about. And I’ll be able to authenticate my phone without having to personal passwords or interestingly I have a phone with the fingerprint. It’s kinda pinion, see…So you know but I appreciate I wanted that security ….yeah, thanks again. This is Alex from Tom’s Hardware, the CES 2015, checking out the Nymi band.
Watch this video and discuss it in your group (optional task to advanced students)