Token's smart ring autofills your passwords, badges you into work, makes payments, unlocks your car, AND more
In a world filled with wearables of varied usefulness and quality, among the mediocre and the redundant sometimes floats a device that seems to actually make life easier for people of this age. One such device purported to do so is the Token Ring, a smart ring with a bevy of useful features – none of which pertaining to fitness. Instead, this ring focuses on being your universal security key for authentication of many kinds.
Token is a company headed by co-founders Melanie and Steve Shapiro, who also co-founded Digsby, a company that specialized in managing online social identities. Digsby was acquired by Tagged in 2011. Since then, Token was founded on the idea of ensuring internet users would never have to sacrifice convenience for security, or vice versa – enter the Token Ring.
The Ring, pictured above, is equipped with Bluetooth and NFC connectivity, as well as a fingerprint and optical sensor. Bluetooth is used to connect to the companion app (compatible with Android, iOS, Windows 10, and MacOS) which stores credit card information, passwords, transit cards, car keys, and even workplace access cards. Token will also be releasing a smartlock down the line, which would enable the Ring to grant you access to your house as well.
Password storing capabilities are designed to be seamless in their integration with your devices, requiring only two quick knocks on a hard surface to autofill your passwords. For mobile devices, presumably such features will be integrated into the companion app so that Android O’s improved autofill and iOS’s keychain can access this easily. For non-mobile devices, Token says their API (Application Programming Interface) will be supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple’s Safari browser so that “your Token ring will be able to communicate directly with Gmail through Chrome with no apps involved for creating or using credentials.” In the case of logging into a Windows Laptop, the experience is engineered to be just as simple. By simply having your laptop connected to the Ring via Bluetooth and logging the password into the companion app, your PC can also be unlocked with two quick knocks – a feature on which Token worked directly with Microsoft.
When the Ring is taken off, the optical sensor sees this and authentication processes are deactivated. The Ring will resume its functions only after re-authenticating the user through its built-in fingerprint sensor and being put back on. As a standalone device, the Token Ring is EAL5+ certified – the same standard of security certification used by IBM’s mainframe computers.
Token also makes it easy for you to set up the Ring with your car. If you have a push-button start, simply send Token a key FOB and they will send back a Token Car Plug programmed for your vehicle. This plugs directly into your cars On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) console, enabling the same “knock-knock” authentication to open your car doors and start your car – presumably only requiring the initial knock for entry.
NFC connectivity allows the Ring to make payments at contactless terminals without the need for an account, as Android Pay and Apple Pay users are required to make. Simply add your credit card information in the Token Ring app, and mobile payments are as simple as a tap. Token has worked specifically with Visa and Mastercard to ensure the Ring is accepted as a secure form of payment.
The NFC chip also allows Token’s ring to replace transit cards for more than 50 NFC-enabled transit systems worldwide, with another 30 scheduled to go live in 2018, including New York City. Adding to this is support for HID SEOS, the technology used in most workplace badge readers. This means that soon you can get in your car, take public transportation, and badge into work all with one little ring.
“How soon?” one might ask. The Token Ring is available for pre-order now with shipments scheduled to start in December 2017. The Ring is waterproof up to 50 meters and claims a two-week battery life. Starting at $250 for sterling silver, the Ring comes in 14K rose gold and black rhodium for an extra $50. Bundles also exist for those looking to pick up the lock and car plug, totaling $400 for all three.
Make sure to check out Token's official launch video!