It seems the world of consumer wearables has lost Motiv – the smart ring company that’s been an underdog hit in the world of wearable technology.
The company isn’t dead – but it’s being bought by Proxy – a digital authentication start-up that sees potential in using Motiv’s technology in enterprise. As a result of the buyout, Motiv will cease selling its smart ring device through consumer channels, and there’s no word of how long devices will be supported.
Motiv started life back in 2017 as an activity tracking smart ring that put its focus on active minutes rather than simple step counting, with a heart rate sensor on board.
But its feature set widened over the years. In 2018 a second generation landed that put its focus on biometric security – and these are the features that will have interested Proxy.
It added two factor authentication, that enables users to unlock accounts like quickly logging into web services, including Facebook, Amazon, Google, Reddit, Twitter, Skype, and Slack.
It also added support for FIDO + WebAuthn, in a bid to totally bypass password logins altogether, and WalkID which will recognise your gait, essentially your unique walking style, to authenticate the wearer.
“The demand for our technology is only going to increase and we saw a clear path forward in the importance of validating one’s identity in both the physical and digital worlds,” Motiv said in its announcement.
“Keys, access cards and passwords are rapidly being replaced with a biometric identity which provides greatly improved security and convenience.”
All of these technologies could make Motiv a useful addition to the enterprise environment, where Proxy sees a market for replacing things like keycards and ID badges – and can double for authenticating identify for using computers, cloud computing accounts and more.
For our part, however, we’re sad that this means the end for Motiv, just as the smart ring market looked like it was taking off. That means the onus is now on Oura Ring, which just secured a big round of funding and is involved in medical studies, and the forthcoming Amazon Echo Loop smart ring.