People could soon be using their eGos to open doors.
A team at the Cork Institute of Technology’s Nimbus research centre has successfully completed a trial on a new wearable technology which uses a person’s skin through touch to open doors, log on to computers, and turn on phones and even cars.
The wearable eGo device, which is activated with your fingerprint, can take the form of a clip-on device attached to your clothing. It can even be embedded in a watch, a ring, or even your glasses.
It can be set to switch off if dropped or removed from the user or after a certain period of time.
The device is then paired with multiple eGo-compliant objects — security doors, shared computer terminals, a credit card machine, and even your car.
Modifications for touch-free use are planned. And it all happens in just a few hundredths of a second.
The trademarked eGo technology will eventually eliminate the need to manually enter passwords, use keys or carry swipe cards, and vastly improve security.
The Nimbus team has just finished testing the technology in a mocked-up healthcare setting in the Nimbus centre.
The project’s lead researcher at Nimbus, electronics and sensor networking expert Kieran Delaney said they will spend the next 12 to 18 months refining the technology to make it more robust before conducting field tests.
They have forged links with healthcare facilities in Cork where the technology could be tested.
Following commercialisation of the technology, the devices could be on the market within three years, Dr Delaney said.
“The individual elements of technology existed before, but we have brought them together for the first time — combining existing technologies and some new ones to do a new thing,” he said. “And the technology works. It’s one thing to develop technology. It’s another thing to develop products people will really use, and to make sure they really solve problems.”
Dr Delaney said the key to the success of this research project is that the partners involved have spent time working with end-users to make sure the technology is fit for purpose.
Formed in 2010, the eGo project has 11 members in Europe including manufacturers, applications developers and academic institutions.
The Nimbus centre is collaborating with Irish partners DecaWave, Tyndall Institute and Lincor Solutions, and other EU members including lead partner Gemalto, Atos Worldwide, Idex, and Inria.
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