RIT Alumni Launch Token, "One Ring to Access Everything"
Tom Spendlove posted on July 10, 2017 |
Token can replace credit cards, passwords, and a transit card for any user.

Steve and Melanie Shapiro graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and believed that one of the biggest threats to digital security is "the broken method of using passwords to authenticate ourselves".  They wanted to help build a future where people could feel safe online, and remain cognizant of the fact that people don't generally change their behavior unless they save time or effort. Their solution is Token, a digital ring that can take the place of credit cards, house keys, website credentials, transit cards, car keys and access badges. Token rings and tokenize (the website name) are familiar networking terms now leaping into the physical world.

The ring is currently being offered for presale on the company's website until July 14, 2017. The development of the ring focused on security, using a combination of biometrics, EAL5+ certified secure elements, and asymmetric cryptography. A fingerprint sensor unlocks the user's credentials when token is placed on the finger and an optical sensor knows when you've removed the ring. Data is centralized and not sent to the company's servers.

When the Shapiros considered added features into the ring the deciding factor was adding utility from current state. If it wasn't faster and easier it didn't get onto the ring. Most of the functions in the launch video show the user giving a double tap to activate the log in or a locking system, but there are also long slow swipes over objects to activate.

The system runs for two weeks on one battery charge, is 9 millimeters wide by 2.5 millimeters thick, and fits US ring sizes 6-12. Bluetooth and Near Field Communication are both used to transmit.

Token is interesting because it looks to fill several roles for the average user and quickly become a routine afterthought. I haven't seen too many places presenting the proprietary technology, however, where there aren't several detractors talking about the relative young lifetime of current wearable technologies and raising security concerns. The presale ends this week and first units are expected to ship in December 2017. It will be very interesting to watch the story of Token unfold over the next year.

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