New markets are just heartbeat away for Belfast firm
Machines can identify us by our irises and our fingerprints - but a Belfast firm is bringing biometrics into a new age with technology identifying us by heartbeat.
And now tech company B-Secur is hoping to bring its know-how to new markets after winning investment funding of £3.5m from private investors as well as the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Funds.
Potential uses for its inventions could range from cars, to buildings' security and wearables technology for health and fitness. The firm was set up in 2002 by Colin Anderson, the founder of Anderson Advertising - now ASG and one of Northern Ireland's biggest advertising and public relations agencies.
Mr Anderson said: "The greatest challenge in business is taking the germ of an idea and bringing it to fruition.
"In 2002 we were way ahead of our time and it's taken a while and significant personal investment to germinate, but the idea is now ready to blossom."
B-Secur is creating a portfolio of heartbeat algorithms which it is licensing for the use of clients in a number of sectors.
A spokeswoman said: "The unique features of using a heartbeat to authenticate individuals is that not only can you identify the user, but you can also tell a number of well-being metrics about the user, such as whether they are tired, stressed or even under the influence of drunk or drugs."
One possible use is for security in buildings and workplaces.
She added: "This product also collects vital information about the employee such as heart rate, location, and well-being metrics.
"This will ensure the safety of these employees in dangerous and highly security-conscious environments."