Blog posts, Thought leadership | 12/21/2022

Ledger Stax: Building The Future of Consumer Devices

By Tony Fadell, Principal Designer & Advisor at Ledger

To everyone in the Ledger Op3n audience today – physically as well as virtually – thanks for joining us. It’s a pleasure to be sharing the stage with my friends, Ian and Pascal.

2 years ago, they approached me to help them. They asked, “Can you work with us to reinvent the Ledger wallet?” To be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on this task. Many people ask me to build gadgets for them and frankly I hate gadgets. 99.9% of the time I say: “The world doesn’t need this.” But I was curious, really curious, about these new technologies, and the security team that built them.  

Before I accepted their challenge, I went off to have a deep think: “Does the Ledger wallet really matter? Will I want to use it? Will other people use it? Will it change the way I live my life? And maybe others too? And if yes, how could the Ledger wallet do this more simply and more delightfully than before?”

As I thought about these questions, ideas kept popping into my brain. The idea of reinventing a Ledger Wallet chased me. I couldn’t run away. I saw a big opportunity and big problems to solve. And I like solving big problems. So I convinced myself. I had to accept this challenge.

Today, I carry around a bunch of things in my wallet: bank cards, credit cards, a transit pass, a key card for my office, even ID cards. In my other pocket is my smartphone…and now it contains a lot of those cards too. So why am I carrying both?! I don’t like carrying around a fat wallet. But…I don’t trust everything on my phone. That’s nuts!

If we can’t trust our smartphones, but we want all the convenience they deliver – what do we do? 

So first, we needed to start with a proven ultra-secure digital wallet. Ledger’s got that! Ledger has millions of secure digital wallets out there used by savvy crypto and NFT people everywhere. Not. A. Single. Ledger wallet has been hacked. Ever. Frankly a few years ago, I had no clue what a Ledger wallet was. Simply put, today a Ledger provides unhackable access to my coins and my NFTs. But, soon that same device can be used to securely replace your IDs, passports, loyalty cards, and even your dreaded list of passwords. Ledgers will be moving into everyday lives of everyday people. So, starting at Step 1, I decided to try everything on the market.

And this was what I found: black boxes, different sizes, lots of buttons, tiny screens, nothing intuitive, nothing unique. They look like other products that already exist. Is it a USB key? A remote control? A calculator? I was confused. But…also…I was excited!

This is what MP3 players looked like BEFORE the iPod!”

This is a nightmare I knew how to fix! So, what did we design? I started with the basics. What size should it be? It can’t be as small as a USB stick – you want to interact with it. But it can’t be as big as a smartphone – it has to be its own thing. I went back to my physical wallet. There’s an electronic device in all of them. Sometimes many. *It’s a Credit Card! But can a Ledger the size of a credit card be easy to use? We all love our smartphones. Its intuitive user interface. So give it a touch screen. Not buttons! And What kind of display should it have?

Your ledger wallet is even more personal than your smartphone and has access to your most valuable assets. How many times have we picked up someone else’s smartphone?! They all are blank rectangles when they are off! We couldn’t use a smartphone display. Instead we chose an E-Ink display. Just like the 10s of millions of Kindles in use today. You’ll know your device is yours even when the power is off, right out of the box. We had the new Ledger wallet – it would replace a stack of cards and stacks of cash – so I’m proud to introduce you to…

LEDGER STAX!

It’s got a touch screen and E-Ink display. Ledger’s proven security stack. Hardened personalizable always-on E Ink touchscreen. USB C. Bluetooth. Wireless Qi charging. Built in NFC. Pre-order now for 279 euros. Ships first quarter 2023

We think this is a great upgrade or second device for current Ledger users and it will invite many new ones to the world of digital assets.

Would you like to see our intro video?

Let’s roll it!

I think the product looks great, and I’m really proud of it. But it isn’t just hardware… I’ve learned that nice-looking hardware and user interface is not enough. To make Ledger Stax delightful and usable everyday, we need to rethink Ledger Live – the powerful companion app to your Ledger Stax.

So here’s my friend, Remi, sending me a WHOLE 2 dollars of ETH. He scans my QR code directly on my Ledger Stax screen. He can double check that the address is correct on his mobile with the Ledger Live App. 

And then you HOLD TO SIGN! It’s just that simple.

So, that is Ledger Stax and Ledger Live reinvented. BUT there’s a little extra magic. 

I want to show you something cool. We learned a lot from the people all of you in the audience, here and around the world. Many of you have multiple Ledgers for different things.

Then they’re like a collection of books.

So Ledger Stax can magically – magnetically and delightfully connect. Isn’t that cool! Here’s another and here’s another! This is what security feels like. Secured by Ledger. Designed by the Ledger team, led by me.

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