…and I’m not talking about Orcs.

Token doorlockIn past posts I’ve mentioned my desire for a Universal Key… a single key or similar device that would get me into everything that I had locked or password protected, negating the need to carry around a ringful of metal keys, security fobs and lists (taken down or memorized) of scores of login names and passwords everywhere I went.

Today I’m happy to announce that the Token may have solved that problem… and then some.  Token is a secure device, in the shape of a ring, that can verify your identity, unlock locks, sign in to secure electronic systems, and make digital payments, with just a touch (or knock) of your hand.

Token has given a lot of thought to the use of their system.  To begin with, the ring has its own fingerprint sensor, registered to your finger.  To use it, you have to scan your fingerprint, and when Token accepts it, you put the ring on.  The ring stops working if it detects it’s been removed from your finger, so if it is lost or stolen, others cannot use it on your accounts.  Token must be charged to use, and a single charge will typically last 2 weeks.

Token pay

You store your ID credentials on Token’s EAL5+ certified secure element… it’s not stored on the cloud, so others don’t have access to it, and you don’t have to worry about connectivity issues blocking its use.  Token acts as 2-Factor Authentication—your credentials plus your fingerprint verification—satisfying many systems that require 2FA and making systems that don’t require 2FA that much more secure.  You use an app on your phone to set up each site’s credentials.  You can use Token in place of your:

  • Credit card (Visa or Mastercard)
  • House key (with our companion Token Lock)
  • Desktop login password (Mac or PC)
  • Keyless Ignition Car Key Fob
  • Passwords
  • Access badge (HID SEOS)

This means I can access any of my accounts as needed, use it to make credit card payments, have keyless entry to my home, the ability to drive my car, and log onto my computer… without carrying keys or logins/passwords.  Just the kind of functionality I was hoping for!  It doesn’t work on everything yet (if your vehicle requires a key to start, you’re out of luck so far), but it covers enough systems to make it highly worth checking out.

LokiNaturally, the minute I mentioned this to my wife, she immediately brought up that gag used in multiple crime dramas and action-adventure stories; you know, the bit about the person who uses some form of biometric data (usually a fingerprint or eye scan) to get into some secure facility, only for the bad guys to grab them, cut off the identifying part of the body, and use it to gain access to the secure place.  Does Token reference this on its site?  No… probably because of the absolute rarity of something like that ever actually happening in real life.  Seriously… Loki isn’t really hovering nearby, ready to eviscerate your eyeball!  But if you’re really concerned about that kind of thing, I suppose you could leave the Token in your pocket in insecure environments and not take it out until you plan to use it, or you know your surroundings are safe.

Token rings are now available to preorder.  And this will surely be only the first in many such devices.  I expect devices may eventually be embedded under the skin, and the 2FA is accomplished by sensor that confirms it is attached to living tissue.  Might be hard to charge, though wireless charging is being developed already.  But in the meantime, I like this Token system.  Can’t wait to try it out myself.