Dubai: San Francisco-based start-up Motiv, maker of the smart wearable ring, is aiming to replace passwords and PINs with biometrics and simple gestures.

The company has already launched a smart ring for fitness enthusiastic to monitor their heart rate, track activity, distance, calories burnt, and sleep.

Tejash Unadkat, CEO of Motiv, told Gulf News that people have many devices, accounts, passwords and PINs, making it difficult to practice good online security.

“Passwords have become an issue and there were 1,400 data breaches in the United States alone last year. I personally have been hacked three times recently. My Google account, credit card and Skype accounts have been hacked,” he said.

Biometrics are already gaining traction with smartphones, PCs and tablets using facial, iris recognition, and fingerprint sensors.

To get rid of passwords, Unadkat said that they have tied up with Fido Alliance to get rid of passwords as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox have already become Fido compliant.

Fido Alliance is a consortium of more than 250 companies that create security standards.

“They have released a specification called ‘Fido 2’ to get rid of passwords. What we’re going to see is that other companies such as Microsoft, Google and PayPal are expected to become Fido 2 complaint. In 2019, biometric tokens like Motiv will be able to replace passwords,” he said.

With a simple gesture, the smart ring will transmit a code over Bluetooth, becoming a two-factor authenticator to log you in. “This acts as a second layer of protection for online accounts as long as the ring is on your finger,” he said.

The feature is already available on iOS devices and partially being rolled out on Android devices.

“We worked on the technology for three years and the entire team built every component of the ring from scratch. It is a first-generation product and the second-generation product will be much better,” he said.

The second addition to be rolled out soon, he said will be known as WalkID and it measures the unique style of a person’s walk or step as an additional layer of security.

“Our data scientist has created a signature based on how you walk. Instead of just transmitting a code over Bluetooth, the ring also checks your walk,” he said. With the same hardware, it can track fitness features and security features, he added.

“We will add more functionality to make it more useful. Our team is busy working with more than 20 sensors right now to figure out which ones can be integrated into those into the ring,” he said.

The smart ring market is fairly new but once it evolves, new functionalities will be available.

The company currently has presence in the UAE, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. “We are planning to expand our footprint before the end of the year,” Unadkat said.