A company called Token is launching its first product today: the Token Ring. It’s a fingerprint-sensing ring that’s designed to unlock and authenticate everything, including your car, house, and computer. The ring is NFC- and Bluetooth-compatible so it can work as a payment device or as a ticket for various transit systems. Most of that functionality is still to come, and in certain cases, requires additional hardware.
The ring itself is available in six sizes and includes a battery that could last up to six weeks. It charges through inductive charging and can be programmed with gesture controls. The hardware itself isn’t all that interesting. It’s more the idea of what it could theoretically be used for that’s intriguing.
To get the device to be an all-in-one solution, Token has to rely on partnerships. So far, it’s working with Mastercard, Microsoft, and Visa to make PC unlocking and payments possible. Keep in mind that paying through this ring is separate from Android Pay or Apple Pay. You’ll have to manually add cards through its companion iOS / Android app, and those cards have to either be a Visa or Mastercard. Microsoft is working with Token so that Windows 10 users can unlock their computer through the ring.
As for transit options, Mastercard launched its own initiative to make contactless payments a possibility. Token is piggybacking off that work. London’s transit system already has contactless ticketing, as does Singapore. The New York subway system doesn’t yet have contactless payment, although that might be coming in the future.
When it comes to unlocking your house or car, Token had to design its own hardware solutions. It’s going to sell a connected deadbolt and car plug that’ll allow you to access your home and car. Your car has to have a start button for the car plug to work, and you’ll be required to send Token your spare fob so it can design a specialized car lock.
All of this is to say, unlocking and authenticating everything from a ring sounds like a very future idea. It’s not an easy solution, at least from the side of making a device that works everywhere, but if Token can pull it off, that’d be quite the feat. The ring costs $249 for preorder and should ship by December. Packages vary for the deadbolt and car plug but all three items cost $399.