OPINION: Samsung is rumoured to be working on a new type of wearable, not in the form of a smartwatch or fitness tracker, but something much more discreet; a smart ring.
It’s not the first – you’ve got niche options like the Oura Ring 3 and Ultrahuman Ring Air for early adopters – but Samsung could be the brand to bring the form factor to the masses.
The concept of a smart ring is a relatively simple one; it’s a slimline fitness tracker built to resemble a traditional ring. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and delivers fitness tracking and sleep data, allowing you to keep on top of your metrics without needing a big, bulky smartwatch.
That’s how early smart rings like the Oura Ring 3 work, at least. Samsung’s implementation could vary in design and connectivity depending on the route the company wants to go down during development.
More specifically, early rumours surrounding Samsung’s smart ring suggest that it could boast both ECG and PPG sensors, signalling just how advanced the company wants the ring to be.
It’ll likely also incorporate Samsung’s in-depth sleep tracking from recent models of Galaxy Watch to deliver information on your sleep and how to improve it, but that’s just healthy speculation on my part.
Most importantly, if it gets it right, Samsung’s Galaxy Ring could completely transform the way we think about wearable technology. For one, rings are much more discreet than a smartwatch or fitness tracker, more seamlessly blending in with your outfit.
It could also be argued that, being on a finger with constant contact with the skin, a smart ring could provide more accurate fitness monitoring than a smartwatch does. There’s a reason why doctors measure your heart rate from your finger, after all.
But more than that, it allows you to ‘disconnect’ from the constant influx of notifications and other alerts that stream through to smartwatches. As somebody whose Apple Watch is constantly buzzing whenever I wear it, that’s very appealing.
It’ll also allow you to wear a classic wristwatch (remember those things?) without missing out on key tracking metrics.
Arguably, this is all already possible with the smart rings already on the market, but there is one common issue; size. Though they resemble rings, the Oura Ring 3 and Ultrahuman Ring Air are still thicker than a standard ring, and it’s noticeable when worn on anything but an index finger, slightly pushing the base of your two surrounding fingers away slightly.
If any company can throw money behind R&D to shrink components to a manageable size, it’s Samsung. The company isn’t shy about throwing money into new concepts, as evidenced by the company’s foldable collection.
However, don’t expect the Samsung Galaxy Ring to materialise anytime soon.
Reports suggest that the Galaxy Ring is still in the early stages of development with no timeline for release. However, Samsung has allegedly begun working with a company called Meiko to produce the printed circuit boards for the new wearable, so hopefully, we’re not waiting too long.
Fingers crossed, eh?