3D printed rings for public transport?

Posted by Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling

Choosing public transportation over a personal vehicle is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, but the transition can be challenging. First, you’ll have to adhere to someone else’s schedule, and then there’s the task of keeping track of your fare, ticket, or commuter pass card.

For those that utilize Boston’s mass transit system, this pass is known as a Charlie Card. There’s nothing worse than getting to the bus or train station in the nick of time, only to fumble for your card. A new project out of MIT aims to replace these cumbersome cards with a 3D-printed bauble called the “Sesame Ring”. Using scientifically-approved magic to open doors, the aptly-named ring will ensure you never miss your ride again.

The Sesame ring is a great example of wearable technology, something that’s bound to become more popular as gadgets continue to permeate our lives. Looking like something the Green Lantern might wear, the 3D printed ring contains an embedded RFID tag. Simply waltz up to an RFID-based fare reader, tap it with the Sesame ring, and continue on your way.

“Given the success of the first beta run, our team was able to produce rings that can quickly and easily adopt the function of practically any smart card,” reports the design team, called Ring Theory. “We chose the MBTA Charlie Card as it was one that we use very often here in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and we thought that public transportation would be an interesting sector to investigate.”

Available in customizable colors and sizes, an already-successful Kickstarter campaign means you could be flashing yours by Christmas.

Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling