Kickstarter flooded with donations for biometric USB drive

News 21 Feb, 2013

Project generates over $100k within 24 hours.

Californian startup Arkami has launched a project on Kickstarter to fund a unique USB device that will have voice activation and fingerprint recognition capabilities.

The myIDkey has been designed to ensure users never have to worry about forgetting a password and looks to be a valuable asset for business users.

How it works

The device can be connected to a PC or Mac to sync up passwords. The flash drive also has Bluetooth connectivity, which will allow it to be managed by iOS devices via a freely available app.

To activate the device a user has to swipe their finger on the edge of the stick. The user can then say the name of the account they want the password for, and it will be displayed on the 0.96in OLED screen.

For example, if the user wants to log into their online bank password they would say the name of the bank, “Chase Manhattan”, and their password will pop up on screen as shown in the video below:

Benjamin Chen, executive chairman of Arkami noted the device can be used by everyone in the family as well as businesses.

“Imagine the ability to securely store not only passwords but also files [such as] photos and important documents like passport and driver’s license information,” he said in the video.        

Security

The device relies on fingerprint recognition to unlock it. But users can also add another layer of protection -  which will come in the form of taps. Users can set the device up so it needs to be tapped once, twice or a specified numbered of times after the fingerprint has been authorised.

In terms of encryption, the drive has AES 256-bit standard built in. In the event the device is lost or stolen, the USB will delete all information if there are multiple failed attempts to access it.

If a device is found or users get a replacement, passwords can be re-synced by connecting it to a PC or Mac.

Release date and pricing

The myIDKey KickStarter project launched on 20 February – and has a target of $150,000. As of writing, $111,172 has been raised in under 24 hours and there are still 28 days remaining.

The myIDKeys are set to start shipping in September and will be available in 2GB, 8GB or 16GB configurations. It looks like the suggested retail price could be $79 for the 2GB drive and users who donate this much will be the first to receive a device. 

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Yet another device that will not work across different accents?

I hope this include open-source OS too.

Though I suspect it probably isn't.

but why would a company with it looks like 20+ employees need to raise $150,000