Token puts credit cards, keys and transit passes on your finger
We have seen smart rings that can pair with your smartphone or offer NFC functionality, but the dream of paying for a coffee or starting your car with a wave of the hand has remained out of reach. Tokenize Inc. hopes to change that with its Token smart ring that packs NFC and Bluetooth connectivity and is designed to take the place of your credit card, house and car keys, workplace access card and even laptop password.
A multipurpose ring such as Token would be worthless if it didn't work with a variety of third-party systems, and the company seems to have done the hard yards in connecting with a variety of organizations to ensure widespread compatibility. It has partnered with MasterCard and Visa for credit card payments, Microsoft for Windows password activation and over 50 public transit companies worldwide for tap-and-go travel.
With the companion Token Door Lock, the ring can also function as your house key. Currently you have to buy the proprietary Token Lock for this, but it's claimed the system will expand functionality to third-party smart locks in the future.
One of the more interesting features of Token is it's ability to act as your car key. The initial process to activate this is a little cumbersome, involving sending your current car key fob to the company so it can initialize the system. A USB is then sent back to be plugged into your car's ODB2 port. From there apparently all it takes is two knocks to unlock the car doors and activate its "Start" button.
A device that provides access to so many important aspects of a person's life inevitably needs strong security and Token has a fingerprint sensor on the inside of the ring that needs to be scanned before one puts it on. The system locks itself when the ring is taken off, only reactivating when the correct fingerprint is again scanned. So a thief cannot simply steal the ring and access your house, car and money – unless they do something more drastic than just snatch the ring.
Tokenize has also partnered with HID Global, one of the leading access card manufacturers, to make the ring compatible with many workplace security readers. Again, this involves a bit of work on the user end to initialize functionality, but for those that constantly forget their building pass to get in to work this could be a lifesaver.
Waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft) and lasting 14 days on a single charge, it seems Token covers off many pragmatic details to make it the most functional broad-use smart ring we've seen to date. Whether you think the ring is aesthetically pleasing is entirely a matter of taste, but it does come in a variety of finishes and seven sizes raging from US6-12.
It's also on the bulky side, but that isn't unexpected considering all the technology embedded within. And if all works as advertised it could easily replace your bulging wallet and heavy set of keys.
Token is currently available for preorder, with shipping scheduled for December 2017. The base model, made of sterling silver goes for US$249, with a Black Rhodium or Rose Gold finish available for an extra $50. The House Lock and Car Lock systems are an extra $100 each, so you could easily be spending $500 on a full system.
Take a look at the Token ring in action in the snazzy video below.
Source: Tokenize (not available May 21, 2020)