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The Hypr-3 lets you make secure payments with your finger

The Hypr-3 is like Apple Pay, for any device with Bluetooth.

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Nate Ralph
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Nate Ralph

Associate Editor

Associate Editor Nate Ralph is an aspiring wordsmith, covering mobile software and hardware for CNET Reviews. His hobbies include dismantling gadgets, waxing poetic about obscure ASCII games, and wandering through airports.

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2 min read

LAS VEGAS -- The Hypr-3 is a thin, light gadget that aims to lend the power and convenience of mobile payments to any device with Bluetooth connectivity. An app serves as a mobile wallet to securely store your credit and debit cards, but there's also an open API, so developers can make their own apps, or integrate support into existing wares. I had a chance to check it out here at CES 2015, and it's a neat little tool that costs just $20.

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The Hypr-3 can be attached to the back of your smartphone. Nate Ralph/CNET

The Hypr-3 is designed around the idea of three-factor authentication. The first factor is something you have. In this case, it's a 3.2mm thick stick that serves as an encrypted token generator. You can stick it onto the back of your phone, or anywhere really -- the representative I spoke with keeps his on a keychain, and Bluetooth connectivity allows it to pair with your Bluetooth-equipped device from a few feet away.

Hypr-3 biometric payments stick is tiny (pictures)

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The second factor is something you are: that's taken care of by the built-in fingerprint reader. Swipe your finger, and the Hypr-3 transmits an encrypted token to your phone that indicates that you are, in fact, you.

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It's rather thin. Nate Ralph/CNET

The third factor is something you know, which is generally a pin number that unlocks your device. Your device -- which can be an Android or iOS phone or tablet, or even a PC -- will then transmit a message out to the cloud that the transaction has been authorized. And the merchant can treat it like any other mobile transaction -- just tap your NFC-equipped phone onto an NFC terminal.

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Sticking it onto your phone my be convenient, but not required. Nate Ralph/CNET

The idea is that a ne'er do well would need to know your pin number, have access to your Hypr-3, and have your finger, before they could make an unauthorized transaction. Authentication occurs up in the cloud, circumventing malware that might have hijacked your device. And the Hypr-3 uses CR216 batteries (the sort you'd find in a watch) and will last for over a year, so you won't need to worry about the battery dying while you're out shopping.

An app that serves as a mobile wallet will store your credit and debit card details, much like Google Wallet or Apple Pay . But Hypr-3 also offers support for Bitcoin transactions. If a merchant supports Bitcoins but you don't own any, the Hypr-3 app will connect to the Internet, calculate the dollar value of a Bitcoin transaction, and charge that amount to your credit or debit card -- no Bitcoins required.

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The Hypr-3 can tackle Bitcoin transactions, too. Nate Ralph/CNET

An open API also means that developers can potentially create apps of their own: a bank might integrate Hypr-3 support into its existing app, for example. Given the cheap price, simple operation and support for just about anything that supports Bluetooth, there's quite a bit of potential here.

You can pre-order the Hypr-3 right now for just $20, which converts to around £13 or AU$25. It'll be available in June in the US, and information on availability in other countries will be revealed soon.

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