IT & Systems Management

Sesame Ring could take public transit passes to the next level

Many major public transit systems have some form of smart card-based transit pass. Here in San Francisco, we have the Clipper card: Pull it out of you wallet, hold it to a sensor for a second or two, then go on your way, having paid your fare. The folks at Ring Theory have an idea that might take this tag-and-go simplicity a step further.

Meet the Sesame Ring: It's a prototype RFID-equipped ring that could replace that card in your wallet. As designed, the Sesame Ring works like a typical RFID transit pass--hold it to the sensor to pay, then go on your way--only it lives on your finger, so you won't have to rummage through your bag to find your card.

It could be good for more than transit passes, though: The Sesame Ring's makers allude to using it at conferences or in business environments--a replacement to office card keys, perhaps? The Sesame Ring is currently in Kickstarter mode, and has already exceeded its $5000 goal with nine days to go.

The project has some legitimate backing, too--Ring Theory has been working with Boston's MBTA transit system to test the ring on its CharlieCard fast-pass system. If it works there and becomes an actual, widely available product, who knows? Maybe we'll see other transit districts partner with Ring Theory to make the Sesame Ring work on other fast-pass systems.

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