The digital world is no longer about cops and robbers but large-scale cybersecurity issues that the Token Ring, a $250 smart ring, addresses at the endpoint level. Unless you live off-the-grid and can do away without passwords and keys, the constant fear of identity theft can be overwhelming. And with everything going digital, keeping secure and authenticated (and not forgetting credentials) is a daily struggle that we wish simplified. How big is this problem globally? The Nilson Report in October 2016 reported the logarithmic rise of annual credit card fraud from 3B in 2000 to over 24B in 2016.
For anyone who has been hacked, it becomes an obsession to manage the risk and ensure that every connection is not just convenient but safe. But choosing which gadget to use among the many in the market is a difficult task. One of the things to consider is whether the developers can keep in step with the pace of IoT, AR, and AI growth. With the Token Ring, you have the confidence that it is not an innovation that’s bound to be just a passing trend like Snap Glasses.
There was a time when smart wearables were bulky, superfluous, and was more of a problem than a solution – everything that this smart jewelry isn’t. The Token Ring has two-factor authentication and is equipped with a fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth, and NFC (near-field communication) for a contactless operation that does not require Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE. The Token Ring is fully capable of replacing your wallet (MasterCard or Visa), car keys, house keys, access cards and transit cards as well as managing your myriad passwords for your computer (PC or Mac) and other gadgets.
Its minimalist style, functionality, durability, and stylish colors like rose gold, brushed sterling, and rhodium makes it a good-looking, indispensable, discreet assistant that can open doors, gain you office access, pay with MasterCard or Visa, turn-on your computer, and more by scanning, tapping and knocking. Made of Argentinium Sterling Silver, it is more tarnish-resistant than regular silver finishes and has resin protecting the components in the inner rim.
It pulses rainbow lights when it recognizes the user and flashes a blinking red LED light when it doesn’t. According to Steve Dunkel, the fingerprint data used to authenticate the ring is “stored on the secure element within your Token. It never leaves the ring, so you can be sure that it’s safe.” Aside from this chip, it also has an optical sensor that detects when the Token is taken off your finger and “automatically locks the credentials” so it can’t be used by others.
No worries about it getting lost or stolen as it’s uncrackable once removed because it takes biometrics and the ring for it to work – otherwise, it stays locked. Once authenticated, there is no need for a smartphone to process contactless transactions. It is waterproof to a depth of 50 meters, comes with a USB charger and can last 14 days on a single charge. And to personalize the experience, it comes in just your size and authenticated only to a single user. You can even engrave the outer layer to a depth of .6 mm without damaging the core. For now, it only ships in the U.S. but can be used internationally and can load multiple credit cards.
Token works by sending NFC payments from the secure element to the payment terminal. It all works very similarly to Android or Apple Pay. – Steve Dunkel
The company is headed by Steve and Melanie Shapiro (see photos), creators of Digsby, a platform for managing social identities. Combining their Bloomberg and Microsoft expertise with the track record and technical skills of Richard Lourette and Stephen Schultz in biometry, imaging, cryptography, software, hardware, and satellite technology makes the company a heavyweight in embedded wearable devices. Currently, they are working with the biggest names like Microsoft, Visa, MasterCard, and supported by investors among them Bloomberg and Future Perfect Ventures.
“One ring to access everything … Token is your password, house key, credit card, car key, access badge and transit card.” Steve Shapiro
Retail outlets may start asking Canadians these three words when checking out an item as CIBC and Rogers Communications announced a partnership that will harness the Near Field Communication technology that is a feature in newer BlackBerry’s that would allow your BB to act as your credit card.
Senior vice president of retail and business banking for CIBC David Williamson said, “Some people might not carry a wallet but they’ll always have their smartphone.”
But a research released by Google said that Canadians are not keen on the idea of using their smartphones to make purchases online. After polling about a thousand individuals who have smartphones, only 20 percent said they already purchased an item using their devices and 16 percent said they are going to increase mobile shopping next year.
Mastercard estimates that only 15 percent of Canadian consumers are willing to use a mobile device to pay for their items.
Ian Shelly from KPMG said that this figures are quite low. “The 15 percent number is really just the tech-savvy individuals who have kept up with the mobile payments agenda. But once these sorts of announcements come up I think you’ll see much greater adoption.”