Today in APIs: Bionym Raises $14M for Wrist Heartbeat Monitor, SDK

Bionym has raised money for its heartbeat monitor and SDK/partnering strategy. Sony's Lifelog getting ready to launch its API. Plus: Telus aims to plug cars into the Internet, and Mendeley's API version 1.0 is released.

Bionym Raises Money for Wrist Gadget in Wake of Apple Watch

Vancouver company Bionym has just raised $14 million for its wrist gadget that monitors heartbeats. Funding digital bling in the month following Apple's mega watch announcement looks on the surface like a foolish leap from venture capital to adventure capital. What are they thinking? Bionym's device uses an electrocardiogram sensor to monitor your heartbeat. Since each person't heartbeat is unique, by measuring the ECG against a baseline, it can positively identify the person wearing it. The device can then identify you to any of your devices. This eliminates passwords and identifies the user hands free.


As Darrell Etherington at Techcrunch writes, Bionym could be on to something substantially better than the fingerprint security system Apple is offering:

Nymi’s bet on the biometric measure of ECG remains unique, and theoretically offers security benefits above and beyond those of fingerprint tech, according to the startup. Bionym is also a tech company at heart, and could offer their services outside of the confines of their specific launch wearable, so in theory we could see similar ECG models licensed to other players down the road.

Applications extend well beyond commerce transactions and unlocking doors, to include innumerable enterprise possibilities. Their developer page offers a look at the SDK and more.

Sony's Lifelog and API Promise More than Personal Number Crunching

Sony's Lifelog is about tracking, but seeks to extend beyond measuring fitness to include the context that can identify the user's emotions at any given time. Recording things like what apps you may have used or music listened to at a given time hints at where you were emotionally at that point. It might even be able to prompt nostalgia. As Markus Eriksson, lead planner for Lifelog, stated in an interview on the company's blog, partnering is just around the corner:

There really is no limit to areas Lifelog could provide user experiences within, whether that’s personal training, medical aids, tourism apps, music playlists… or even dating apps… and that’s quite exciting for us in terms of who we’re partnering with. And, of course, you will still be in absolute control of your data through bespoke control and access settings. We’ll be sharing new partner experiences and API use cases very soon, so stay tuned.

Using an API to put the data in a web browser will make use of a larger screen, opening up new possibilities for how users manipulate what Lifelog provides. Currently it is aimed at Android devices but Eriksson does not rule out iOS compatibility at some pout.

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Be sure to read the next Wearable article: Garmin Introduces Connect IQ Developer Platform for Garmin Wearables