MAR 06, 2019 1:25 PM PST

The Token Ring: Wearable Device Revolutionizes Online Security

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A game-changing wearable device for password storage called ‘The Token Ring’ was developed by Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Venture Creations incubator which seeks to not only make digital lives simpler and safer but to also protect their identities.

“Token was developed by a New York startup with deep roots in Rochester’s revitalized technology community. The answer is to put the only key a consumer will need right back in their hands.”

Credit: New York State Government

A military-grade secure technology, Token is unifying the way consumers prove their online identity. It is made from proprietary combination of asymmetric cryptography and biometrics that works to secure access to both digital and physical points of entry that can be used from buying groceries to unlocking keyless front doors and cars. “It’s a challenge-response: whatever you’re trying to get into, it will ask, ‘is this you?’” says CEO and co-founder Melanie Shapiro. “Token simply passes back a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ It doesn’t require any other information.”

The Token ring user will be in control of everything simply through a fingerprint scan—if taken off, only the owner's fingerprint will turn it back on. “All we have is our identity, and the way we prove who we are right now is completely broken,” Shapiro says. “Identity is such a multi-faceted problem. It’s not just your medical report. It’s not just your passwords: it’s you and everything about you. It doesn’t belong on some massive server that makes us even more vulnerable. As the number of digital interactions we have increases exponentially every year, our risk of being attacked and corrupted along with hundreds of millions of others will only grow as well.”

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“We set out to solve this problem. The ring came about because we knew that in order for a massive behavioral shift to work, the consumer’s daily routine has to feel as familiar as all the other habits that have become so ingrained, like pulling out a credit card or digging in your bag for keys – everything we do with our hands,” says Melanie Shapiro who was motivated to develop this technology from her own motivation in managing her digital identity. “We knew our solution would need to be somehow part of that habitual movement. Since there’s a fingerprint scanner on the inside, what better place to put a device than on your finger?”

Source: Empire State Development

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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