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December 7, 2017

These gloriously geeky earrings pull double duty as a two-factor security key

by John_A

The YubiKey is a great idea: a plug-and-play hardware authentication device that you plug into a USB port and that, after you hit a button, enters an encrypted password so you can log into Gmail, Facebook, or assorted other online services without risk. But as great as YubiKey is for making two-factor authentication that extra bit more secure, it has a problem — namely the fact that the tiny device is just a bit too easy to lose. Some folks have tried to counter this by storing their YubiKey on a keychain. Engineer Samantha Goldstein (whose Twitter account hails her as “no. 1 girl of your memes”) has a far more stylish security solution, however. She has created pair of earrings designed to store a YubiKey, and they can be yours for $40 a pop on Etsy.

“I carry around a lot of gadgets in my normal life: a badge, a cellphone, computer, YubiKey, [and more],” Samantha Goldstein told Digital Trends. “And I have a habit of misplacing things — right now I am looking for my wallet! My work helps me fill in the gaps by making it easy to keep my gadgets handy. In the past, I’ve also made rings to replace my security badge to enter buildings, and I’ve dabbled a bit in soft circuits and light-up clothes.”

The laser-cut earrings are made using wood and acrylic for the base section, along with sterling silver posts. The YubiKey slides into this base portion like a pocket so that it won’t get misplaced. It’s a simple solution, but a neat one — and bonus points for totally being something we could imagine being worn by a female secret agent (or, heck, a fashion-conscious male one) in a James Bond flick.

If you’re interested in getting your hands (followed by your ear lobes) on Goldstein’s smart earrings, you can currently order them on her Etsy online store. We don’t know how many she’s planning to make, but these would definitely make a great Christmas gift for the right tech lover in your life. Heck, you could even use the YubiKey they contain to log into a public computer to send some festive emails over the holiday season!

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