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Apple and Samsung working on rival smart rings, reports claim

Samsung teased a Galaxy Ring smart ring at its Unpacked event on 17 January, 2024 (Screenshot/ Samsung)
Samsung teased a Galaxy Ring smart ring at its Unpacked event on 17 January, 2024 (Screenshot/ Samsung)

Apple and Samsung are both secretly working on smart rings, according to reports.

Both tech giants have been quietly filing patents for the wearable technology for several years, though indications hint that an ‘Apple Ring’ or ‘Galaxy Ring’ may soon be about to launch.

Korean publication ETNews cited an industry insider in reporting that “commercialisation appears to be imminent” for an Apple ring.

Along with biometric sensors designed to track a wearer’s health and fitness, any Apple ring could potentially also include wireless motion controls for interacting with the Cupertino company’s recently launched Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

Samsung could be planning its smart ring launch as early as July, the report claimed. Beyond health tracking, the smart ring could also include support for wireless payments.

Samsung first teased a smart ring at its Galaxy Unpacked event last month, saying that it could integrate with its existing health apps like Samsung Health.

“We’ve created a powerful and accessible health and wellness device, here to change the shape of future health like only Samsung can,” it said at the time.

Apple and Samsung have both had succes with wearable technology, with the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch generating billions of dollars in revenue, though neither company has ventured into smart rings.

The Oura smart ring contains an array of sensors to track a wearer’s health (Oura)
The Oura smart ring contains an array of sensors to track a wearer’s health (Oura)

A 2023 report from consulting firm DataHorizzon Research estimated that the global smart ring market will be worth $1.4 billion by 2032, up from $147 million in 2022.

The current market leader in the smart ring space is the Finnish health tech startup Oura, which holds a share of more than 50 per cent, according to 360 Industry Insights.

The £290 device is able to track activity, heart rate, temperature, sleep and stress levels, and has even been used to detect early signs of illnesses.

In 2020, researchers from the University of California San Francisco and San Diego reported that an Oura smart ring was able to spot when a wearer had Covid-19 before any outward symptoms showed.

“We’re seeing changes up to three days in advance before the onset of symptoms,” said Oura CFO Mikko Kärkkäinen at an event attended by The Independent. “They can quarantine if they get a text early – it could effectively stop the spread.”