Wearable Consumer Security: Credit Card, Password, Keys, Wallet in Smart Token Ring

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

Photos and video courtesy of Token Ring.

Intel’s Vaunt: Discreetly Smart Eyeglasses for Sensurround Data

Smart eyeglasses are old news and with Google Glass and Snap Spectacles receiving lukewarm reception why did Intel launch Vaunt? Intel, the 50-year old company synonymous with high-speed CPUs tossed its hat into the ring of smart glass developers with a different take on what smart eyeglasses should be. First, it had to be stylish, not nerdy looking. Intel considered acceptance a hurdle since people were resistant to smart wearable that made them look geeky.

Cool designs that were lightweight (only 50 grams even with the batteries, laser, and electronics) worked with prescriptions and felt like normal glasses do debuted in February 2018 and true enough, looked pretty standard. No outlandish buttons, screens, camera, or jutting microphones for this AR gadget using Retinal Projection Technology. In fact, Intel developers bragged about being able to play games and holding a conversation with company none the wiser that they didn’t have your attention 100%. Smart, utilitarian, and subtle – what’s not to like?

The Retinal Projection Technology eliminates the screens common to other smart glasses. Low power laser considered safe for the eyes projects the images to the retina so you can discreetly read data, text, and other information discreetly without pushing buttons or gesturing wildly. Intel’s New Design Group (NDG) re-engineered Vaunt for Apple and Android and did away with the camera and other obvious touch controls. Intel’s Vaunt uses voice, head movement, eye motion, AI, and of course laser for a totally hands-free experience.

This is not the first time Intel was involved in the development of smart glasses. In late 2016, it also released the Intel Recon Jet Pro touted as the hands-free Smart glasses for the connected workforce. While Intel is releasing the Vaunt for developers so they could explore practical uses and discover new potentials, the Recon Jet Pro’s purpose was very clear: it provided smartphone functionality and hands-free convenience. It changed workflows so that by streamlining, work was done efficiently and saved companies a lot of money – while significantly decreasing errors and speeding-up tasks. Since it operated in real time, these glasses were used in activities that required mission-critical for quick decisions. But the Jet-Pro could not masquerade as your normal daily-wear, not by a long shot. The Vaunt, projected to possess the best characteristics of the Jet-Pro such as ease of use, total control, and connectivity is intended for the general public as they go about daily tasks. The Vaunt will be released to developers by the year’s end with pricing still to be determined.