One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all.

J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings

The One Ring appears as the central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1954–55). It is also described in an earlier story, The Hobbit (1937), as a magic ring of invisibility.

I was reminded of Tolkien’s ring earlier this week when I met the people at ICARE Technologies who have developed a smart ring called Aeklys.

Designed to replace all keychains and wallets will this be ‘one ring to bring them all’?

Made in France and designed by Philippe Stark the ring enables you to start and unlock your car, identify yourself at work and home, open hotel rooms, use public transport, enter a football stadium, unlock your computer, link to your smart home and make contactless payments – all through a patented gesture of activating the action with your thumb and wave control.

One ring served by one app to unlock my car, log into my computer, identify myself at multiple locations, control my smart home and make payments sounds very compelling – after all my iPhone and Apple Watch is littered with a diverse set of solutions to control these functions.

This is a connected ring that is much more than a payments device – it’s a ring that bridges corporate and personal uses, it’s a ring that uses 2FA to make it very secure and the description feels quite unique.

But, and it is a big but, despite its Philippe Stark design the ring is massive and the things we chose to adorn our wrists, hands and fingers with is a very personal choice. Would somebody chose this ring over the other rings, watches or even the FitBits that decorate our wrists, hands and fingers?

The concept to replace the myriad of keychains and wallets we use into a single device would be a welcome replacement to the digital clutter. A single form factor to autonomously identify myself and undertake frictionless identity and contactless payment tasks is an excellent idea.

Perhaps the form factor will develop, maybe offering a wider range of ring styles (similar to the approach taken by Apple Watch) and it may be that the software may also co-exist in watch and phone operating systems in the future.

But, in the meantime maybe Bilbo and Frodo will stick to using their watches and phones to identify themselves, undertake frictionless identity confirmations and make contactless payments.

Find out more about Aeklys from ICARE Technologies ate www.icaretechnologies.com

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