Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has developed a signet ring containing a unique fingerprint pattern that can be used to unlock a phone or authenticate a payment.
The 3D printed jewellery — made in tandem with a Swedish designer — is intended to address the issues that can arise if an individual's biometric data is stolen.
Unlike real fingerprints which cannot be changed and are therefore forever compromised, the ring could be easily switched for another unique replacement.
Unfortunately, the security-enhancing jewellery is only a proof-of-concept, with the Russia-based firm not planning to make such rings commercially available.
Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has developed a signet ring containing a unique fingerprint pattern that can be used to unlock a phone or authenticate a payment
Modern devices are increasingly providing the facility to replace traditional pin codes and passwords with biometric authentication systems.
These see users unlock their smartphones, make payments and even gain access to their homes and offices using their fingerprints, eye scans or even faces.
While such biometric data is unique to each person — and may therefore seem more secure than a password or pin that could be guessed, cracked or stolen — the use of such does come with its own complications.
While compromised pins and passwords can be reset — and different ones can be used with different systems to minimise the extent of the risk should they be exposed — our biometric data is fixed and universal.
Once our biometric data is compromised, therefore, it is so for good — and exposes any system protected by the same physical features.
To address this, Kaspersky teamed up with 3D designer Benjamin Waye to create a unique artificial fingerprint — made from a rubber compound containing thousands of conductive fibres — built into a 3D-printed silver signet ring.
Just like a normal finger, the surface of the ring can be pressed against a biometric scanner to unlock a phone, door or validate a financial transfer.
To ensure each ring's pattern is one of a kind, the mould for the artificial fingerprint is produced using a specialist piece of software which is then made unique by the randomly distributed conductive fibres that serve to activate fingerprint readers.
Should the ring be lost — or its 'biometric' pattern compromised — one could simply delete it as an authentication method and replace it with another ring with a different, unique pattern instead.
'Not only is [the ring] considered beautiful, but it has been designed with the aim of helping to solve a quite serious problem in today’s modern life,' said Mr Waye, the designer of the unusual piece of jewellery.
'It helps preserve our uniqueness in a world where everything could otherwise be copied.'
The 3D printed jewellery — made in tandem with a Swedish