New Token Ring uses fingerprint reader, Bluetooth to securely authenticate wearer

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A new ring called Token embeds Bluetooth and a fingerprint reader, and promises to enhance biometric authentication with compatibility across a large array of existing technologies.

Prior to wearing the Token ring, users authenticate with a fingerprint scan on a sensor on the inside of the ring. Once the ring is removed, then the authentication expires until re-scanned.

As demonstrated to Mashable, Token founder Steve Shapiro unlocked his MacBook with authenticated NFC communication when he knocked on the table near the computer. The functionality mirrors that of the Apple Watch feature that does the same thing with close proximity of the two devices.

"We wanted to build something that makes you more secure, but we've realized that most consumers won't do anything if it makes their lives more inconvenient," Token cofounder and CEO Melanie Shapiro told Mashable while demonstrating the product. "We're offering a two-factor authentication process that's easier than some already ingrained behaviors, like pulling out your credit card."

The company has also made its own line of door locks to supplement the technology. as well as a security pad for access control.

Token has partnered with physical authentication company HID, the FIDO alliance, Microsoft, MasterCard, and Visa. As it stands at present, the Token works to authenticate public transportation access in 40 systems around the world, with 20 more coming in 2018.

The ring is waterproof up to 50 meters, and a single charge will last about 14 days. There is no subscription fee to use the ring, nor is any information about the user sent to Token servers.

The Token ring in brushed silver will retail for $249 when it ships in late 2017. Deadbolts from the company are an additional $100.


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