A Java Ring
is a finger ring that contains a small microprocessor with built-in
capabilities for the user, a sort of smart card that is wearable on a
finger. Sun Microsystem s Java Ring was introduced at their JavaOne
Conference in 1998 and, instead of a gemstone, contained an inexpensive
microprocessor in a stainless-steel iButton running a Java virtual machine
and preloaded with applets (little application programs). The rings were
built by Dallas Semiconductor.
Workstations at the conference had ring
readers installed on them that downloaded information about the user from
the conference registration system. This information was then used to
enable a number of personalized services. For example, a robotic machine
made coffee according to user preferences, which it downloaded when they
snapped the ring into another ring reader.
Although Java Rings aren t
widely used yet, such rings or similar devices could have a number of
real-world applications, such as starting your car and having all your
vehicle s components (such as the seat, mirrors, and radio selections)
automatically adjust to your preferences.
The Java Ring is an
extremely secure Java-powered electronic token with a continuously
running, unalterable real-time clock and rugged packaging, suitable for
many applications. The jewel of the Java Ring is the Java iButton -- a
one-million transistor, single chip trusted microcomputer with a powerful
Java Virtual Machine (JVM) housed in a rugged and secure stainless-steel
The Java Ring is a stainless-steel ring, 16-millimeters (0.6
inches) in diameter, that houses a 1-million-transistor processor, called
an iButton. The ring has 134 KB of RAM, 32 KB of ROM, a real-time clock
and a Java virtual machine, which is a piece of software that recognizes
the Java language and translates it for the user s computer system.
Ring, first introduced at JavaOne Conference, has been tested at
Celebration School, an innovative K-12 school just outside Orlando, FL.
The rings given to students are programmed with Java applets that
communicate with host applications on networked systems. Applets are small
applications that are designed to be run within another application. The
Java Ring is snapped into a reader, called a Blue Dot receptor, to allow
communication between a host system and the Java Ring.
Designed to be
fully compatible with the Java Card 2.0 standard the processor features a
high-speed 1024-bit modular exponentiator fro RSA encryption, large RAM
and ROM memory capacity, and an unalterable real time clock. The packaged
module has only a single electric contact and a ground return, conforming
to the specifications of the Dallas Semiconductor 1-Wire bus.
Lithium-backed non-volatile SRAM offers high read/write speed and
unparallel tamper resistance through near-instantaneous clearing of all
memory when tampering is detected, a feature known as rapid zeroization.
Data integrity and clock function are maintained for more than 10
years. The 16-millimeter diameter stainless steel enclosure accomodates
the larger chip sizes needed for up to 128 kilobytes of high-speed
nonvolatile static RAM. The small and extremely rugged packaging of the
module allows it to attach to the accessory of your choice to match
individual lifestyles, such as key fob, wallet, watch, necklace, bracelet,
or finger ring.