Computers

Wireless smart key auto locks a computer when the user walks away

Wireless smart key auto locks ...
The Halberd proximity-based access control fob is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter
The Halberd proximity-based access control fob is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter
View 8 Images
The loop ring at the top of the Halberd can be used to attache the smart key to a backpack
1/8
The loop ring at the top of the Halberd can be used to attache the smart key to a backpack
The Halberd keeps a login session live, meaning you won't be timed out if you're sat at your desk but not typing
2/8
The Halberd keeps a login session live, meaning you won't be timed out if you're sat at your desk but not typing
If you forget to lock your computer when the urge for caffeine takes over, Halberd will automatically do it for you
3/8
If you forget to lock your computer when the urge for caffeine takes over, Halberd will automatically do it for you
The GateKeeper Trident app allows a smartphone to act as an access control device for computers
4/8
The GateKeeper Trident app allows a smartphone to act as an access control device for computers
Blockchain-level security is coming to the system in 2018
5/8
Blockchain-level security is coming to the system in 2018
Wearing the Halberd on a lanyard means proximity-based access control is always with you
6/8
Wearing the Halberd on a lanyard means proximity-based access control is always with you
The GateKeeper Trident app allows a smartphone to act as an access control device for computers
7/8
The GateKeeper Trident app allows a smartphone to act as an access control device for computers
The Halberd proximity-based access control fob is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter
8/8
The Halberd proximity-based access control fob is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter

No matter how many notices are pinned around the office or how many notifications are sent to smartphones, some workers will inevitably forget to lock their computers when away from their desks. The Halberd from Untethered Labs will automatically take care of such things, wirelessly securing a workstation when a user strays beyond its range and granting access upon return.

The Halberd follows in the footsteps of the company's GateKeeper fob from 2014 and, like that smart key, has launched on Kickstarter.

"Halberd represents the state of the art in our field," said the company's Sid Potbhare. "It makes the entire experience for both the retail and enterprise client not only efficient, but secure."

The Bluetooth proximity-based access control device autolocks a computer when a Halberd-wearing user walks away and unlocks it upon return, meaning users needn't worry about remembering to secure a computer before wandering over to the office coffee machine, or having to dig out a wallet, purse or notebook for a PIN or password check. The system will also keep a login session live, meaning you won't be timed out if you're sat at your desk but not typing.

The Halberd keeps a login session live, meaning you won't be timed out if you're sat at your desk but not typing
The Halberd keeps a login session live, meaning you won't be timed out if you're sat at your desk but not typing

This latest smart key improves on the GateKeeper by adding more processing grunt for crypto key exchanges, adding an accelerometer for motion detection, has an all metal design for improved durability and can also instigate a computer lockdown with the push of a button. The system makes use of AES-256 encryption, and if a Halberd is lost or misplaced, users will always be able to manually log in and out.

Software updates planned for rollout over the coming year include Linux and Mac compatibility, machine learning smarts, single sign-on abilities and blockchain credentials. Also on the horizon is an app for proximity lock/unlocking of smartphones.

Kickstarter pledges start at US$30 for a Halberd smart key, a Bluetooth USB dongle and a Trident mobile app for iOS/Android, which allows a smartphone to act as an access control device for computers. If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in January 2018. There's more on the project in the pitch video below.

Sources: Untethered Labs, Kickstarter

Halberd – Your Computer Key to Kill the Password

2 comments
Alien
Attached to a lanyard this seems good for corporate security - but the idea of attaching it to a backpack appals me. So, you walk away for a coffee or whatever leaving your backpack by your desk and - zilch security! It could be extremely good if a device like this could be attached to or better still, incorporated with, a security tag of the type often used to allow door access in offices.
Hyksos
Whosoever has this device has access to all of your stuff...