Amid high profile data breaches and phishing scans data security experts have been calling for the death of the password. One such effort to overcome those security problems using biometric authentication is Token, a new smart ring that promises to give its wearers the ability to make mobile payments, unlock doors, and sign in to devices while protecting their identity.
The wearable uses NFC, Bluetooth and biometric reading in order to provide hassle-free two factor authentication. The company behind Token has partnered with companies like MasterCard, HID, and Visa to enable many scenarios where consumers can use Token ring.
Microsoft also announced today that it’s working with Token to make it Windows Hello compatible. "Microsoft designed Windows Hello to enable all of our customers to move to a password alternative that is secure from the modern threats and we’re thrilled to work with Token to make the Windows Hello experience even better,” Windows Client Security Senior Product Manager Chris Hallum said.
The ring has a fingerprint reader and a sensor that identifies when you're wearing it. That way, you only scan your fingerprint once when you put the ring on and it will be able to authenticate with compatible devices and services until you take it off. If you remove the ring, your credentials are locked in the device’s EAL5+ certified secure element.
The ring won’t ship until December 2017 but the company is working on building an ecosystem around it. So far the device is said to work with Visa and MasterCard for payments at over 15 million locations, it can unlock Token's custom-made deadbolts, unlock doors and activate the ‘Start’ button on some vehicles, tap and go at over 50 transit systems worldwide, replace HID access cards, and more. They're also working with the Web Authentication API for web logins.
The system won’t come in cheap, however. The basic brushed silver ring will set you back $249 and you’ll have to pay an extra $100 for either a deadbolt or car plug to go along with it. Aside from the steep pricing, Token will also need to convince people that it’s worth wearing an extra accessory (and charging it from time to time) for the sake of added convenience and security.