Tech Companies Enter the Smart Ring Era, Battling for Your Finger. Will you wear this one?

Smart ring

This year, Samsung’s Galaxy Ring — a smart ring that tracks heart rate, sleep, and fertility — is one of the headline acts at Mobile World Congress. Smart rings have been around for a few years. It is expected to dominate the market, according to analysts.

For now, Samsung is only teasing — the prototypes shown at MWC are just prototypes, and the phone won’t be available until later this year — but its arrival in Barcelona has caused a stir. Huawei’s Honor mobile business also announced this week that it was developing a smart ring.

Until now, Oura has been the biggest name in town, but there are plenty of startups vying for that finger real estate, with rings that track your health and even let you make payments wirelessly.

In its report on wearables shipments in Q3 of 2023, IDC attributed the growth to emerging categories like smart rings. The analysts said more smart rings would ” jumpstart the new form factor in the coming quarters”.

According to Avi Greengart, president and lead analyst at Techsponential, Samsung’s Galaxy Ring validates the smart ring category.

Apple looms over any burgeoning new gadget category

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman last week, Apple was considering developing its own smart ring. Apple has been rumored to be developing a smart ring for over a decade — mostly due to a string of patent applications it has filed. Gurman reports, however, that some employees at Cupertino are advocating that the company build a health and fitness-oriented wearable device.

Since Apple’s wearables division accounts for 10% of the company’s revenue, there is reason to be interested in this market. With Apple’s traditional wait-and-see approach to launching new products, some executives in Cupertino will no doubt be closely monitoring Samsung’s smart ring (and now that the Apple Car is dead, some engineers may have a little more free time).

There is a huge sector of the population that doesn’t wear watches or does not want to replace their wrist watches. Others want to track their health but don’t want a device buzzing on their wrist all day.

Because there’s no screen (at least on the rings we’ve seen so far), these devices are less power-hungry, and can go days without a charge.

Smart ring can track sleep

As sleep science evolves, companies such as Oura claim the finger is a superior way to track sleep.

People are starting to realize the importance of improving their sleep quality, and finger measurements are more accurate than wrist measurements.”

Right now, a lot of the rings are chunky, but they should slim down as the technology improves.

Apple and Samsung, which already sell smartwatches and fitness trackers, risk cannibalizing their other wearable products, but it might be worth it if people don’t want to wear a smartwatch and a ring.

According to IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo, subscriptions are another reason tech companies are eyeing smart rings.

Smart Ring Lucrative for Tech Companies

In the long run, smart rings could be lucrative for tech companies if users pay a monthly fee to access health insights, AI coaching, and – maybe one day – deeper health metrics like glucose monitoring.

With Whoop, a wearable fitness band based on a subscription model, users get super-detailed workout and recovery data. Another wearable tech company, Ultrahuman, makes a smart ring called the Air that also tracks recovery time, letting you know when you should go back to the gym after a workout.

Apparently, Samsung is considering a health subscription service, leveraging built-in artificial intelligence tools (like a digital doctor who knows all of your medical information).

According to Jeronimo, it’s all about selling subscriptions and services for the companies.

Samsung will do extremely well if the price point is right.”

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Editorial Director
I'm Shruti Mishra, Editorial Director @Newsblare Media, growing up in the bustling city of New Delhi, I was always fascinated by the power of words. This love for words and storytelling led me to pursue a career in journalism. In this position, I oversee the editorial team and plan out content strategies for our digital news platform. I am constantly seeking new ways to engage readers with thought-provoking and impactful stories.

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