Though Apple was definitely not the first company to start the wearable health tech market, it certainly is the one that seems to have nailed it. Before the first Apple Watch, people had fitness trackers like Fitbit, but after the Apple Watch, everything seems to have shifted towards smartwatches. But let’s face it — not everyone wants to wear a smartwatch.
While most people wearing wearable tech tend to go for things like the best Apple Watch, there has been a recent trend towards something smaller in recent years. I’m talking about smart jewelry, in particular, the smart ring.
For the past few years, I’ve been using the leading player in the smart ring industry, the Oura Ring. Even though Oura just launched the third generation of its popular Smart Ring about half a year ago, it has been receiving some negative criticism due to the slow rollout of advanced features that the new hardware was supposed to be capable of delivering. Unfortunately, those interested in a smart ring don’t have a lot of other options at the moment.
That’s why I think Apple needs to enter the market.
It’s like an Apple Watch, but much smaller and less noticeable
As much as I love my Apple Watch for tracking my daily activity and health goals, it’s something that I notice on my wrist every day. Granted, I’m used to it at this point, but it really isn’t the most feminine-looking thing out there, and it definitely screams “smartwatch” when you see it. Some people don’t always wear their Apple Watch because they don’t like wearing a watch every day; it would look out of place with their outfit or something along those lines. Also, I’m not particularly eager to wear my Apple Watch to sleep, even though it can track sleep — my Oura Ring is better for that, in my opinion.
If Apple were to make a smart ring, it might be more appealing to some people than an Apple Watch. After all, I think the primary reason why many people use the Watch is because of the health stuff, and all of that is reliant on sensors. The sensors themselves are not very large, and I believe Apple could easily fit them into a smart ring instead. After all, Oura Ring has managed to include sensors for continuous heart rate, SpO2 levels, sleep tracking, and even body temperature into its third-generation ring, which didn’t change in size from its predecessor. If a company like Oura can figure out how to make it work, a company like Apple can do it too, and perhaps even do it better.
Honestly, smart rings like Oura are tiny and lightweight compared to watches, but they’re still bulkier than I’d like. After all, the Oura Ring is about the size of a man’s wedding band versus a woman’s. However, once you wear them, they’re less noticeable, I think, though that depends on which finger you wear it on. But as we’ve learned with other tech, things get smaller over time, so I’d imagine by the time Apple could ever develop a smart ring, its sensors could be even smaller than they are now, which would mean a thinner ring. In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming of a smart ring that is comparable to a female wedding band.
Apple filed for a new wearable patent a few years ago
If you think that Apple would never do this, that may be true. But according to a report from back in 2019, Apple had indeed filed for an “electronic ring computing device” patent. However, that report seems to indicate that whatever Apple may be working on for a new wearable will just be like a smaller Apple Watch.
While all of that may be cool, I would prefer Apple not to go that route. That sounds like a bulky ring if it has a tiny little screen and has some user input method and all that. My favorite thing about my Oura Ring is that it doesn’t have a screen or anything like that — it’s simply a ring that I wear and forget about.
Still, with Apple holding such a patent, an Apple smart ring could be a thing at some point. I’m just hoping that it will be more than just a smaller version of an Apple Watch, and instead, be more like the competition. I think Apple could dominate the market if done right. And perhaps this would make more sense for a blood glucose sensor versus having it on the wrist with an Apple Watch. One can dream, right?
Again, it’s just a patent, and not every patent becomes a reality. Still, it’s just one possibility, and if Apple does make a smart ring, I’d be very eager to see how it stacks up.