tom's guide - Mar 1, 2024

Apple Ring — everything we know so far about the rumored smart ring

Apple Ring — everything we know so far about the rumored smart ringWorld

(Image credit: Midjourney AI)

By Kate Kozuch published about 1 hour ago


Apple is reportedly working on a smart ring


The Apple Watch might not be the only health-tracker in Apple’s product portfolio for long. The company is reportedly developing a smart ring to rival the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Ring and Oura Ring.

It’s hard to imagine such a device being called anything other than ‘Apple Ring,’ though it’s not so hard to imagine what the device will do. With Apple’s long-standing efforts in the health space, a smart ring would offer an alternative form-factor for things like sleep- and fitness-tracking. 

With Apple Car plans quashed and the launch of Apple Vision Pro behind us, rumors about the company’s next new device category are ramping up. Although there are few different directions Apple could take, a smart ring seems like a natural progression of the Apple Watch’s success.


Growing anticipation for Samsung’s sleek-looking Galaxy Ring might also make Apple users eager for a similar device of their own. Releasing a device just to match a competitor isn’t really Apple’s M.O. (which is why we still haven’t seen a foldable iPhone) but a smart ring seems like it's in the works from what we heard. 


Apple Ring: When could it be released?

According to a report in Bloomberg, the Apple Ring is just an idea at this stage and is not in active development. While there are apparently people within Apple promoting the smart ring concept, it would be premature to talk about a potential Apple Ring launch date.

The appeal would be for people to have a "low-cost way to gather key health data without the need to wear a full-blown watch."


Apple Ring design rumors

This hypothetical Apple Ring would look, well, like a ring. Thanks to experience with the Oura Ring Gen 3 and an up-close look at the Samsung Galaxy Ring, we’re pretty familiar with the discreet design of smart rings. While they look slightly thicker than a normal ring due to a number of sensors lining the inside, at a glance, you’d think it’s just an average piece of jewelry. Smart rings even come in various colors and metal finishes to keep up the jewelry effect.

Some people might choose to wear a smartwatch and a smart ring in conjunction, but more often, people choose a smart ring as their fitness-tracking wearable since it doesn’t replace a traditional timepiece. It’s a bit more comfortable to wear overnight for sleep-tracking than a smartwatch, too.

The Samsung Galaxy Ring comes in 9 sizes, from 5 through 13. (Image credit: Future)


That said, sizing is critical to the fit and proper function of a smart ring. Too small, and it’s not comfortable to wear 24/7. Too big, and the sensors won’t get an accurate read of your heart rate, skin temperature or blood oxygen level. Smart rings have to be offered in several sizes and usually require a fitting process — it’s not two sizes fit all like with the Apple Watch.


Apple Ring rumored features

If an Apple Ring were to launch, it would likely be pitched as a screen-free alternative to the Apple Watch. Users could still count their steps, see how well they slept, get cycle insights via temperature sensing and experience many other benefits of Apple Health without needing to wear a smartwatch. It may offer a new way to close your Apple Watch rings with apps like Apple Fitness Plus.

But that’s not all. A patent spotted by Apple Insider suggests the Apple Ring could act like a sensor of sorts for better hand detection in Vision Pro. Such a device could also enhance the headset experience with haptic feedback. Depending on the design, it could act as a joystick for VR gaming as well. Although the headset currently uses hand-tracking, a companion ring sounds as though it would benefit the overall accuracy and responsiveness. It might help in low-light conditions when hands are harder for the headset’s cameras to see, too.

We don’t know much else about the Apple Ring, though we can speculate that it’ll have a longer battery life than the Apple Watch. Most smart rings last several days between charging, for reference. 


Apple Ring outlook

In launching a smart ring, Apple could reach Apple Watch hold-outs with a convenient alternative for fitness tracking. It would fit in well with the company's current product offers, presenting a new way to engage with all Apple Health has to offer. 

Price would be an important factor, though. The Apple Watch starts as low as $249 for the Apple Watch SE. We imagine the Apple Ring will cost somewhere between this and the flagship Apple Watch Series 9, which starts at $499.

If Apple were to progress the Apple Ring from concept stages to actual development, we'd likely hear more rumors about about the device. In the meantime, you can bookmark this page for the latest Apple Ring news and updates.


Source: https://www.tomsguide.com/wellness/fitness-trackers/apple-ring-rumors-release-date-price-design-features?utm_source=flipboard&utm_content=topic%2Fgadgets

tom's guide - Mar 1, 2024