The fob, which is approximately the size of the Fitbit One activity tracker, packs a Bluetooth 4.0 radio and can run for months on a single coin-cell battery, according to London-based Atama. The company says Sesame takes advantage of Bluetooth 4.0's Low Energy mode, and that a "Mac's battery will barely be affected" by the device.
Sesame secures the user's Mac by using OS X's built-in screen saver password lock function. A companion application controls the distance at which the screen saver should be engaged and can also stop or start iTunes playback at the same time.
For more security-conscious users, Sesame can be used as a kind of two-factor authentication device. Rather than returning to a fully unlocked Mac, users who choose the two-factor method will be asked to both enter their system password and press a small button located on the Sesame.
"Securing your Mac while you're away is something you shouldn't need to think about," Eric Ferraz, CEO of Atama, said in a statement.
The idea of locking and unlocking a Mac with Bluetooth has been applied in the past by software-based approaches --?like Appuous's Keycard -- that work with other devices, such as a user's cell phone. One downside to this approach is the potential for a significant impact on battery life for the paired device.
Atama, who also makes the Kilo smartphone-connected scale, notes that Sesame will be compatible with a variety of Mac laptops and desktops running Mountain Lion and Mavericks when it ships for $39.99 later in November. Stay tuned to AppleInsider in the coming weeks for a hands-on with Sesame.