(Tech Xplore)—Knock, knock. Who's there? Me. Me who? No, no need to ask, and no need to answer.
There is a wearable in a ring form factor that knows who you are, opens the door, computer, or car, and takes the weight off your mind. You tap, you lightly knock, and it takes the weight off your shoulders in remembering passwords, and in fumbling inside your half-torn pocket for keys.
Tokenize Inc is now accepting pre-orders for its ring.
It's only available in the US at present but they said they will accept sales outside the US next year.
"Token is the one place where all of your digital keys live — credit cards, house keys, website credentials, transit cards, car keys, your access badge — these are all artifacts you use to prove who you are," said CEO Melanie Shapiro's blogged announcement.
Token is a standalone product that doesn't rely on your phone for daily use. You need the app, though, when you add or remove credentials. The Token app runs on iOS and Android phones, and this is what you use to manage your credentials.
As for cars, the ring works with any car that has a start button and remote key fob.
Actually, some extra steps need to be taken if you want it to behave as car key. It involves sending your current car key fob so it can initialize the system, said New Atlas. Then a USB is sent, to be plugged into the car's ODB2 port. Two knocks unlock the car doors and activate its Start button.
CNET put up a video about the ring too. Scott Stein, senior editor, asked, "Would you want to wear a ring that acts as your wallet, and keys? It sounds somewhat risky," he said, "but Token claims to have solved the equation with a ring that has its own two-factor authentication and fingerprint sensor."
As for credit cards, it covers Visa or Mastercard. For desktop logins, the ring works with a Mac or a PC.
(A ring such as Token would be worthless if it did not work with third-party systems for compatibility, said New Atlas.)
"Token device provides our card holders a personalized lifestyle accessory that can make simple and safe contactless transactions at millions of merchant locations in 96 countries around the globe," said Kiki Del Valle of Mastercard.
The Bluetooth and NFC device could possibly be used to replace an employee access card at work. "Have your security officer reach out to us or your HID rep to implement a BYOD program for physical access control secured by Token's continuous two factor authentication," the site tells visitors. Token works with iCLASS SE and multiCLASS SE readers.
How to keep it going? Token comes with a USB inductive charger. You get 14 days on a single charge.
The biggest question of all remains security. Technology's yesteryear equivalent in this regard was a physical leather wallet. Your grandma may have argued with your grandpa, why not put all your health and identity cards and household keys, in one single wallet? To which he looked at her for a long time and said, Why would anyone be that crazy to put such things in one place?
No doubt, security will be a question new customers will want to clear before writing any checks. Security is addressed by the company behind the ring.
"When you set up your Token for the first time we have you scan your fingerprint to create a template that is used to authenticate you every time you put your ring on. Additionally, we have an optical sensor that senses when the ring has been removed, so that when you take Token off all of your credentials are locked."
TechCrunch noted there is a fingerprint sensor at the base of the ring and an optical proximity sensor to ensure that a user's credentials cannot be accessed by a third party.
Price would be another top question. The ring in sterling silver is at $249 and it is available for pre-order, with shipping scheduled for December.
The ring is available in black and rose gold finish too and you can consult the site for more price details.
Worried that your fingers seem rather small or too big for the ring? The company is to make the ring available in seven sizes. Customers will be sent a sizer kit before they ship Token.
Door lock and car locks are separate items and are $100 each.
The Token DoorLock works if the user taps to lock when leaving the house. Then, it's a tap to unlock when returning home. It installs with a Phillips screwdriver (in place of an existing deadbolt, for example) and you pair it with the Token ring using the company's mobile app.