Wear Your MBTA Pass as a Ring

by Maddy Myers on August 30, 2013

in Alumni Life, Modern Geekhood, Uncategorized

mbta ringWhat if you never had to dig through a bag in search of a T pass again? Chris Benson ’10, SM 12 and his co-founders at Ring Theory have created a solution: wear your T pass on your finger. The Sesame Ring has an RFID tag from an MBTA pass embedded inside it, so wearers can fist bump the MBTA card target to enter train stations rather than fishing for their wallets.

“We tried key chains, and bracelets, and an iPhone case,” Benson told Slice in a phone interview. “But we decided that the ring was the best way to go. It’s the most ergonomic.”

Benson met his co-founders Edward Tiong and Olivia Seow at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Benson had visited Singapore to help with MIT’s collaboration in the founding of SUTD and to speak to incoming students about entrepreneurship. Soon, Benson began to practice what he preached by helping Tiong and Seow with their idea to develop wearable smart cards.

Benson, Tiong, and Seow began by creating ring versions of SUTD student IDs; incoming freshman acted as the first beta testers. According to the Ring Theory Kickstarter page, “the university has since expressed interest in having the ring as a lasting tradition.”

“These rings could be used to replace student IDs, or any sort of smart card,” says Benson. “Like smart cards in office buildings, campuses, for Zipcar, the Hubway bicycle system – there are tons of applications. The idea is that eventually we’d be able to combine some of those applications. So you can just carry around one piece of jewelry that you’re less likely to lose.”

The Sesame Ring’s Kickstarter campaign has far exceeded its funding goal of $5,000; the amount raised at the time of this writing stands at $12,712. The campaign does not require further donations, so Kickstarter contributions now serve as the only way to pre-order a ring. You have 15 days left to reserve one in your size.

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