California-based security provider SplashData recently compiled a rundown of the worst passwords of 2014—combinations topping the list included “123456,” “password” and “12345.” (Unfortunately for Los Angeles basketball fans, “Lakers” made the company’s top 100). No matter the strength of your password, however, these days it feels like it’s only a matter of time before some hacker takes over your online (or real life) identity. Thankfully, the tech industry has been quick to beef up the security of the devices and apps we use daily. Herein, we found five gadgets that may one day replace your insecure PINs with inimitable codes—you know, like your heartbeat.
Bluetooth wristbands: Everykey
Everykey is a bracelet that acts as a universal access device. Using Bluetooth, the device seemingly inspired by the Jawbone UP24 interfaces with computers, bike locks, car doors and smartlocks on your home to open them by proximity. It also works with your digital devices to automatically log you into your online accounts. If you’re worried about it falling into the wrong hands—or, rather, the wrong wrist—it sports military-grade encryption and can be deactivated remotely.
Digital tattoos: VivaLnk
The Moto X smartphone can now be unlocked using a digital tattoo called VivaLnk, paving the way for ultra-secure access (barring, of course, someone severing your arm). Motorola debuted its nickel-sized eSkin patch last summer as a sort of semi-permanent solution to the company’s similarly-functioning clip-on device, Skip. The adhesives come in packs of 10 and wear off in about five days, meaning it may cost upwards of $80 annually to bypass your PIN.
Heartbeat authorization: Nymi
However unlikely, Bluetooth signals and near-field frequencies can still be replicated. The waveforms created by your heartbeat, at least according to University of Toronto researchers, cannot. Nymi used their findings to create this new band, which unlocks the passwords of proximate apps and devices using your unique biometric.
USB retinal scanners: Myris
EyeLock’s Myris is a USB retinal scanner that converts your unique iris pattern into a code that allows you to unlock your computer and access your online accounts, including e-commerce sites, bank accounts, social media and email. All it takes is a one-second glance at the palm-sized device. With some smartphone manufacturers like Samsung teasing the tech in their newer models, it’s highly possible that retinal scanners will become an ubiquitous security feature.
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