While most of us have smartwatches or trackers wrapped around our wrists to monitor stats like daily steps and heart rate, smart rings offer a convenient and lightweight alternative — and it looks like we might soon have a new product in this category.
Samsung patent for a ring-shaped smart device has been reported in boat (Opens in a new tab) Forum in South Korea (via note book (Opens in a new tab)), the thinking is that the device could offer a range of features similar to those available on Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.
The usual caveats apply with patent applications: these refer only to research and development projects that occur in-house, and do not guarantee the appearance of the actual device. However, it appears that Samsung is at least exploring its options when it comes to smart rings.
One ring to rule them all
At the moment, the biggest name in the smart ring game is Oura, with Oura . 3rd Generation Smart Ring It offers features like 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and even some mindfulness exercises. It retails for $299, which at the time of writing was around £265 / AU$470.
According to those in the know, Samsung plans to squeeze the heart rate monitor and ECG capabilities into the smart ring. An electrocardiogram (ECG) reading looks for an arrhythmia.
It doesn’t look as though the device will be coming out any time soon, if it actually hits the consumer market at all – but the signs are that Samsung is planning to expand its Galaxy range of devices even further.
Analysis: smart ring vs smartwatch
If you’ve never come across the idea of a smart ring before, it might sound a little weird. However, these wearables can beat smartwatches in several areas, not least battery life – the Oura episode can last an entire week between charges.
The ring is also a more discreet device compared to smartwatches or even basic wrist-worn fitness trackers. If you participate in intense sports and training, you may find that you prefer the lightweight and stable feel of the Smart Loop over the alternatives.
When it comes to sleep monitoring, again the more unobtrusive the device the better. Many of us are already accustomed to wearing rings—whether for engagements, marriages, or just decoration—and so a smart ring isn’t much more than that to wear (although we’d be surprised if anyone suggested using one).
Samsung will obviously do its research before deciding to release a smart ring, and it’s not the only company looking to fill the niche in the market: Fitbit is also said to be Working on a smart ringwhile there are a variety of other options also appear.