For smartwatches and fitness trackers, South Korean tech giant Samsung has its Galaxy Watch series filling that role. Though it looks like the company may be working on either an alternative or a complementary accessory. And it may come in the form of a smart ring.
South Korean portal Naver reports that Samsung filed a patent for a smart ring with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last year, which was granted earlier in July. The description of the ring includes capabilities like heart rate and blood pressure measurement, thanks to the built-in electrocardiogram (ECG), as well as a form of photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor. These would presumably be in addition to the usual health monitoring stuff like sleep tracking and SpO2w monitoring.
The report also notes that the smart ring will also have the ability to control other mobile devices like phones and laptops. This would help distinguish it from just another health monitoring accessory.
Because a smart ring would have its sensors sit closer to the body compared to smart bands and watches, this would lead to more accurate readings. The lack of a display may also mean a longer battery life, despite the form factor necessitating a much smaller battery.
As is usually the case with patents, these don’t necessarily mean that a consumer product is on the way. That being said, the report claims that Samsung has a smart ring in its early stages of development. Which would mean that an official announcement is still far away anyway, let alone availability.
Should it actually happen though, it would mean a more mainstream option for those looking to adopt the tech. For now, probably the most prominent smart ring brand is Oura, which recently launched a literally Gucci-ed up ring, with 18-karat gold trimmings.