17 Gifts at All-Time Lows Gifts Under $30 'Forest Bubble' on Mars RSV and the Holidays MyHeritage 'AI Time Machine' Postage Stamp Price Increase Household Items on Amazon Melatonin vs. GABA
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Lycos wants to manage your password security on rings and fitness bands

The company that had a search engine in the '90s plunges into wearable security and fitness. Do you trust them to manage your passwords on a Lycos Life Band or Ring?

Lycos has an announcement to make in wearables: ring, band, health sensors? Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

Remember Lycos? They had a search engine back in the days when Bill Clinton was president. The website's still alive: it's a hub of various Web and entertainment news. And now, Lycos aims to be yet another company diving into the wearable ocean.

Lycos isn't really the Lycos of years ago: it's really Ybrant Digital, a global marketing company based in 24 countries that acquired Boston-based Lycos back in 2010. Lycos is part of that, but it's hard to tell where Lycos ends and Ybrant begins.

The Lycos Band and Lycos Ring, $125 and $60 respectively, were announced Thursday via a mysterious webcast: they're a fitness band and a smart ring.

They look like the fitness bands and smart rings I've seen before. Both come equipped with near-field communication, or NFC, for tap-to-transfer functions on phones running Google's Android operating system. You could, for example, tap your Band to transfer a contact to a friend's phone (although, why you wouldn't just do that from phone to phone begs asking).

The Lycos Band looks is a fitness tracker with heart rate, step-counting and automatic sleep tracking, with an OLED display and a promised 12-14 day battery life. It also has personal security elements: it can manage your passwords via a Lycos Life app and be used to unlock your phone.

The Ring only has security and tap-to-transfer features: it doesn't even have a battery, just built-in NFC chips that store data.

"The Ring," as listed on Lycos' website. Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

Lycos also announced a Lycos Life Project, where 5 percent of sales of these devices and future Lycos gadgets will be used to give people in pre-selected global regions free sensors to measure air and water quality, recording data that will supposedly be shared to build a database to help humanity.

That humanitarian mission is really hard to vet: just know that Lycos, at its self-proclaimed heart, is a global marketing company. Take that as you will.