Wearable versus portable technology

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The eGo pairing allows the logical connection between two wireless devices: eGo and the eGo compliant device. Nevertheless, a pairing shall be done between eGo and the eGo holder.

The following figure illustrates the links between all elements within the eGo system.

The two-factor authentication applies for eGo and its user in using:


  1. a physical link between eGo and the user's body (what I own)
  2. a Single Sign On (SSO) between eGo and the user (who I am)

The SSO approach is only possible if the first factor is valid and detectable.

Two kinds of eGo device are possible:

  • Wearable
  • Non Wearable

NFC versus wearable device

As with any portable device, eGo may be lost and oblige the eGo holder to perform a pairing at each transaction. A legacy contactless card such as a contactless banking card is a non-wearable device and the user would enter a pincode to perform a transaction in proving the link between eGo and its holder .

A wearable device is physically attached  to the user.  Single Sign On is still possible if the technology to operate the wireless pairing allows it without breaking the physical link (detectable) between eGo and its holder. For example, the detection of the physical link between eGo and the user's body may use a mechanical switch.

The intrabody communication allows the wireless pairing in using any part of the user's body (e.g. hand, arms,...) whereas NFC technology obliges the user to place the NFC antenna in front each of them.

We face two possible cases:

  • The user can move the eGo compliant device near to eGo (e.g. the eGo compliant device as a mobile phone).
  • The user can move the eGo next to the eGo compliant device (e.g. the eGo as a watch).

When we consider that the eGo device can take on any form factor, we see that there may be cases when we cannot meet either of these cases. For example, if your NFC antenna is at shoulder-height on the wall, and your eGo device is in your belt, you would not be able to bring them close enough together. In that case, the Intra Body Communication is the preferred solution.

What form factor can accomodate eGo?

eGo cannot be embedded into a device which has no detectable physical link with the user's body. For example, eGo cannot be a smart card in a wallet, nor can it be a mobile phone in the user's pocket. eGo cannot be attached to a jacket (removable outer clothing).

eGo can be embedded  in shoes, a belt, a watch or any device attached on clothing in close proximity to the skin (swimming suit, pants, shirt).

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