New wearable from makers of Pine smartwatch aims to be “key to everything”

A new wearable authenticator built to be the key to “everything” will be designed by some of the hottest new talents in wearable technology, including the creators of the Neptune Pine smartwatch – one of the only wearable devices to work independently of smartphones.

Neptune Computers is to pair up with Pearl, designers of the Shine fitness tracker, to create a line of wearable computing devices, according to an interview with GigaOm.

One of these will be an authenticator device, built, according to Neptune’s 20-year-old CEO, SImon Tian to be “a key to everything in your life”. Neptune’s Pine is one of the few “smartwatch” devices which works without pairing with a smartphone via Bluetooth, in contrast to devices made by Samsung, Sony and other technology giant – it has its own aerial built in, and runs a version of Android 4.1.

The Pine raised more than eight times its funding goal on KickStarter, and the company now plans to raise between $10 and $15 million in Series A funding this Spring. Tian says that the partnership, with design consultants Pearl, will not focus on fitness trackers, as the market for these is already crowded.

The partnership is to be officially announced at London’s Wearable Technology http://www.welivesecurity.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=41150&action=edit&message=1Show this Monday. Neptune says via its website, “The Neptune Pine smartwatch, to be released in January 2014, is the first of many consumer products to come.”

Pearl’s Shine offered a stylish take on fitness tracking which won praise from websites for its stripped-down take on fitness tracking. Livescience wrote, “The Shine stands out from other trackers because it can be worn in the water, and has a long battery life.”

Tian remained tight-lipped on the details of the proposed authenticator device, but Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and Dropbox, as well as many others already offer “two-factor authentication” systems, where users enter a code delivered to a mobile device via an app, as an optional ‘extra’ security add-on. Other devices, such as the Myris dongle unveiled at CES this year, use biometric signals such as iris scans, to add extra security.

A We Live Security guide to two-factor authentication explains, “Two-factor systems are far more secure than passwords – many high-profile hacks, such as those against the Twitter accounts of media organizations last year, could not have happpened if a 2FA system had been in place. Even if a hacker places malware on a PC and steals a password, they are still locked out.”

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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