Don’t you hate it when you’re’re ready to leave the house to conquer the day, then realize that your car keys are somewhere in the house hiding from you? How about reaching for your badge as you pull up to work right on time, only to remember that you never grabbed it off the kitchen counter. I’m sure we’ve all experienced frustrating moments like that quite a few times. There are so many things we have to keep track of on a daily basis that those incidents are bound to happen. Well a company called Tokenize Inc has taken this into consideration and created the token smart ring.
There have already been smart rings used for payments or fitness tracking, but this will be one of the first of its kind to introduce biometrics and connectivity with smart locks and other third party devices. The token smart ring is a technology that wants people to move through the world conveniently, yet securely.
What can the Token Ring do?
The better question may be what doesn’t it do. This is an all-purpose ring that enables you to have everything you could need right on your finger. It rids the hassle of having to keep up with key rings, transit cards, and other essentials. Let’s just go ahead and dive right into its capabilities. As of note, all the pictures showing the features below were taken directly from Token Ring’s Website.
Token uses 2 factor authentication to protect your information. All credentials are stored on a secure element located inside the ring, and it never leaves the ring. You can think of it the way secure chips are stored in credit cards. Your credentials are stored and only one fingerprint can be programmed to a ring due to how much personal information is on it. Therefore you would be the only one who can use your ring. Without the paired fingerprint, none of the capabilities can be used.
Once you authenticate yourself using the fingerprint sensor, the ring uses another sensor to make sure the device is on your finger. It is called an IR optical sensor. When it senses that your finger is no longer in the ring, it locks the smart ring. That means the ring can’t be used until the sensor lets the ring know your finger is there.
So the steps to use the ring are as follows:
1. Authenticate your finger on the fingerprint sensor.
2. Once the ring is on, the optical sensor will detect your finger is there, and will allow you to access the all of its functionalities.
Below is a picture from their website showing where the sensors and secure element are located on the rings.
Credit Card Payments
The token smart ring allows you to make payments without needing the physical credit card. It only requires you to pair your credit card with your ring. Once it is paired, you can use it at any store that has a NFC payment device. When you scan the ring over the NFC device, Token will first check your fingerprint to authenticate you. Once you’re authenticated, the charge will be made to your linked credit card. This feature of the ring is integrated with Master Card and Visa.
To use the Token Ring as a house key, you would have to order the Token Home Kit with the ring to get installed on your house door. The Kit uses NFC as well to communicate with the ring. So to lock or unlock your door, all you have to do is hover your ring over the device. It would rid the hassle of having to keep up with your house key. Below is a picture from their site of what the home kit looks like, and how to hover the ring over the pad to lock and unlock it.
With the Token Car Kit, you would no longer need to carry around a key full of rings. With the kit installed, all you would have to do is hover your ring over the door handle to lock and unlock the door. The token ring uses bluetooth frequency to communicate with the token car kit.
Your ring can also be used as your transit card payment. It allows you to just tap and go at over 50 public transit systems.
Another capability is the ability to unlock your laptop. It is in works to replace the need for passwords for Mac and Windows computers. With the tap of your token smart ring, it would be able to unlock your computer based off your fingerprint.
Your access credentials can also be used as an access card to your work place.
Below is a list of the features:
- Battery Life of 7-14 days
- Charge time is up to 3 hours
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
- Commuication through NFC & Bluetooth
- Secured with EAL5
The design of the ring is a little more bulky compared to other rings. There are only 3 styles to choose from:
- Sterling Silver
- Black Carbon
- Rose Gold
It also comes with a wire charger that can be used as a ring stand.
How hard is it to set up?
Pairing your finger and entering your credentials into your token smart ring. It’s not hard at all. It only consists of 3 simple steps:
1. Pair it with your phone using the token app
2. Scan your fingerprint using the token ring
3. Add your credentials, a house key, car key, and etc using the token app
Would it benefit me?
Of course there is no product that is completely perfect There were a few drawbacks that stood out to me about the ring. One is having to buy third party devices for some of its functionality. So while buying the ring, you would also have to buy the home kit or the car kit separately if you wanted those features of the ring. That can become quite costly. Also, with so much technology packed into the Token smart ring, it is a little more on the bulky side when it comes to design.
Even with those slight disadvantages, i think that the token smart ring is a great investment. It would definitely bring more convenience to your life having an all in one key and credit card sitting on your finger. The technology is secure, and has taken smart rings to the next level.
Where to Buy?
*** September 2019 Update***
When i wrote this article last year, the token smart ring was still in the testing phase. Since then, updates have been scarce, until this month! The Token Ring will be available in Q1 of 2020 with limited features. The features it will have are for payments and business access. The other features are still in development and will be available in future roll outs. Here is a link to their post with more details and their complete road map: https://medium.com/tokenring/the-path-to-releasing-token-139676fa5809
Feel free to leave comments below with any questions and your opinion about the product!