After years of research, an Apple smart ring may be imminent

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 27

The rumor mill has fired up again, with a new supply chain report claiming that the "Apple Ring" will arrive sooner, rather than later.

Samsung's tease of a smart ring may prompt a similar Apple release
Samsung's tease of a smart ring may prompt a similar Apple release



Samsung's tease of the Galaxy Ring during its Unpacked event in January will help expand the smart ring market considerably. However, a report claims Apple isn't too far away from introducing its own.

According to an industry insider speaking to ETNews on Tuesday, Apple is getting very close to launching the rumored wearable. After filing many patent applications, and spurned on by Samsung, it could soon be Apple's turn.

"Apple has consistently released smart ring-related patents for several years, so advanced development for commercialization appears to be imminent," the insider told the report. Apple is also apparently considering a launch date for the device, though it isn't proposed how close to launch the ring could actually be.

If true, Apple faces entering a potentially fast-growing market. Business Research Insight claims the global smart ring market could grow from $20 million in 2023 to almost $200 million by 2031, growing ten times the size within 8 years.

As part of the market's growth, it's thought that the ecosystem for components needed for such hardware, including biosensors for monitoring the wearer's health, will be revitalized. With an interest in healthcare, smart rings are a point of interest for Apple in aiding in wellness.

ETNews doesn't have a great track record when it comes to predicting future Apple products, but it does feature prominently in the Apple rumor mill. However, there are no other credible rumors or leaks about the supposed smart ring which you would expect about a soon-to-arrive Apple product, putting an "imminent" launch in doubt.

That said, it does have a point concerning the number of patents filed by Apple over the device.

Ring patent rush



In covering Apple's patents, the report mentions one from November which uses a smart ring and short-range wireless communication to let users control smartphones and other devices. As part of that patent, Apple suggested the use of an external band on the ring, which could be used to provide extra touch controls or rotation.

In 2023 alone, AppleInsider has covered smart ring patents that use the device to control others, complete with pressure-sensitive input, the possible control of an Apple Vision Pro headset, and even one that could spot when a user snaps their fingers.

There's even been a viral social media post bemoaning the privacy issues of a paired wedding ring that allows someone to track their partner.

Apple has filed many patents surrounding a smart ring over the years, including one from 2015 which poses the device as having a small touch-enabled display, accelerometers and a gyroscope for gesture input, and heart-rate monitoring, among other features.

The idea of an Apple smart ring goes even further back in time, including rumors from 2007 and an Apple supplier tour in 2013.

Tuesday's report may not necessarily be accurate about the timing of a smart ring. But, given Apple's extensive history researching what the wearable accessory could potentially do, Apple's certainly had a long time to think about it.

Rumor Score: Unlikely

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Fanboi’s will go crazy! It will be so thin you won’t be able to see it from the side, it will have a 3 min battery life, will be made of a wonderful new material that they have been developing for this purpose for 32 years and Apple has been testing how people put a ring on and take it off for the past 13 years to maximize the user experience, it will come in a 6x4 box to enhance the unboxing experience. They will have no idea what they actually hope people will use the ring for but hope that early adopters will help them find that out. It will cost $4,595.00. It has the capability of running all iOS and iPad apps though Netflix and YouTube will not supported it while Disney has already prepped their entire catalogue to be viewed on the ring. Tim Cook will announce it using the word “amazing” 47 times in the unveiling. Apple stock will go up 3.7% on the day. There will be weeks of articles on AppleInsider speculating on the ring return rate. 
    williamlondonbaconstang
  • Reply 2 of 19
    bulk001 said:
    Fanboi’s will go crazy! It will be so thin you won’t be able to see it from the side, it will have a 3 min battery life, will be made of a wonderful new material that they have been developing for this purpose for 32 years and Apple has been testing how people put a ring on and take it off for the past 13 years to maximize the user experience, it will come in a 6x4 box to enhance the unboxing experience. They will have no idea what they actually hope people will use the ring for but hope that early adopters will help them find that out. It will cost $4,595.00. It has the capability of running all iOS and iPad apps though Netflix and YouTube will not supported it while Disney has already prepped their entire catalogue to be viewed on the ring. Tim Cook will announce it using the word “amazing” 47 times in the unveiling. Apple stock will go up 3.7% on the day. There will be weeks of articles on AppleInsider speculating on the ring return rate. 
    I'd maybe consider switching to a less caffeinated morning drink.
    Xedjas99williamlondonnubusqwerty52baconstangStrangeDayswatto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 3 of 19
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,757member
    bulk001 said:
    Fanboi’s will go crazy! It will be so thin you won’t be able to see it from the side, it will have a 3 min battery life, will be made of a wonderful new material that they have been developing for this purpose for 32 years and Apple has been testing how people put a ring on and take it off for the past 13 years to maximize the user experience, it will come in a 6x4 box to enhance the unboxing experience. They will have no idea what they actually hope people will use the ring for but hope that early adopters will help them find that out. It will cost $4,595.00. It has the capability of running all iOS and iPad apps though Netflix and YouTube will not supported it while Disney has already prepped their entire catalogue to be viewed on the ring. Tim Cook will announce it using the word “amazing” 47 times in the unveiling. Apple stock will go up 3.7% on the day. There will be weeks of articles on AppleInsider speculating on the ring return rate. 
    But how fast will it vibrate? 
    bikerdude
  • Reply 4 of 19
    bulk001 said:
    Fanboi’s will go crazy! It will be so thin you won’t be able to see it from the side, it will have a 3 min battery life, will be made of a wonderful new material that they have been developing for this purpose for 32 years and Apple has been testing how people put a ring on and take it off for the past 13 years to maximize the user experience, it will come in a 6x4 box to enhance the unboxing experience. They will have no idea what they actually hope people will use the ring for but hope that early adopters will help them find that out. It will cost $4,595.00. It has the capability of running all iOS and iPad apps though Netflix and YouTube will not supported it while Disney has already prepped their entire catalogue to be viewed on the ring. Tim Cook will announce it using the word “amazing” 47 times in the unveiling. Apple stock will go up 3.7% on the day. There will be weeks of articles on AppleInsider speculating on the ring return rate. 
    A hater, yet trolls an Apple centric website and even reads a fairly long article. And takes the time to leave a fairly long comment. Huh. Probably wrote the post on a MacBook too…and probably owns an iPhone and Apple Watch as well.  
    jas99williamlondonqwerty52StrangeDayswatto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 19
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,661member
    I’ll get this ring to use with my folding iPhone while driving my Apple Car.  

    I kid.  Show me the use case, but color me skeptical.  
    jas99williamlondonOferbaconstang9secondkox2jbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 19
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    I say this will stay a RUMOR.  What is the point of the ring?  You have the Apple Watch which I think is a far better, more useful device than a ring.
    ravnorodom9secondkox2
  • Reply 7 of 19
    I would say this is highly unlikely…

    but Apple got into the VR headset game, so…

    Toe rings, piercings, chip implants wouldn’t surprise me. 
  • Reply 8 of 19

    1000 songs in the palm of... wait.... in the ring on your finger. Introducing the Ringer.... wait... the iPhone rings, too. Oh boy, this is getting confusing.
    baconstang9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Anyone have a patent on rings? :)
    williamlondon9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,085member
    Anyone have a patent on rings? :)
    The IOC has a trademark on them.
    9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    I actually believe it's inevitable for the Vision Pro. Accurate hand tracking, especially for gaming, lower lag time, and a scroll wheel? You wouldn't need to waive your arms as much to navigate a UI, and it sure beats bulky hand controls for gaming.
    Oferbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    This is Apple once again sending a strong message to Liquidmetal Technologies to NOT sell their rumored Evie Ring in conjunction with Movano Inc; doing so would be seen as a violation of an agreement that was set up 8 or so years ago.
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 13 of 19
    bulk001 said:
    Fanboi’s will go crazy! It will be so thin you won’t be able to see it from the side, it will have a 3 min battery life, will be made of a wonderful new material that they have been developing for this purpose for 32 years and Apple has been testing how people put a ring on and take it off for the past 13 years to maximize the user experience, it will come in a 6x4 box to enhance the unboxing experience. They will have no idea what they actually hope people will use the ring for but hope that early adopters will help them find that out. It will cost $4,595.00. It has the capability of running all iOS and iPad apps though Netflix and YouTube will not supported it while Disney has already prepped their entire catalogue to be viewed on the ring. Tim Cook will announce it using the word “amazing” 47 times in the unveiling. Apple stock will go up 3.7% on the day. There will be weeks of articles on AppleInsider speculating on the ring return rate. 
    I'd maybe consider switching to a less caffeinated morning drink.
    What? And live your dull life? No thanks! :)
    edited February 20 pulseimages
  • Reply 14 of 19

    maggot777 said:
    bulk001 said:
    Fanboi’s will go crazy! It will be so thin you won’t be able to see it from the side, it will have a 3 min battery life, will be made of a wonderful new material that they have been developing for this purpose for 32 years and Apple has been testing how people put a ring on and take it off for the past 13 years to maximize the user experience, it will come in a 6x4 box to enhance the unboxing experience. They will have no idea what they actually hope people will use the ring for but hope that early adopters will help them find that out. It will cost $4,595.00. It has the capability of running all iOS and iPad apps though Netflix and YouTube will not supported it while Disney has already prepped their entire catalogue to be viewed on the ring. Tim Cook will announce it using the word “amazing” 47 times in the unveiling. Apple stock will go up 3.7% on the day. There will be weeks of articles on AppleInsider speculating on the ring return rate. 
    A hater, yet trolls an Apple centric website and even reads a fairly long article. And takes the time to leave a fairly long comment. Huh. Probably wrote the post on a MacBook too…and probably owns an iPhone and Apple Watch as well.  
    I have been a member of this forum a lot longer than you. I guess it was all lost on you. But I live in hope! 
    pulseimagesavon b7
  • Reply 15 of 19

    avon b7 said:
    bulk001 said:
    Fanboi’s will go crazy! It will be so thin you won’t be able to see it from the side, it will have a 3 min battery life, will be made of a wonderful new material that they have been developing for this purpose for 32 years and Apple has been testing how people put a ring on and take it off for the past 13 years to maximize the user experience, it will come in a 6x4 box to enhance the unboxing experience. They will have no idea what they actually hope people will use the ring for but hope that early adopters will help them find that out. It will cost $4,595.00. It has the capability of running all iOS and iPad apps though Netflix and YouTube will not supported it while Disney has already prepped their entire catalogue to be viewed on the ring. Tim Cook will announce it using the word “amazing” 47 times in the unveiling. Apple stock will go up 3.7% on the day. There will be weeks of articles on AppleInsider speculating on the ring return rate. 
    But how fast will it vibrate? 
    My guess is that if you have to ask, any vibration is too much already?
  • Reply 16 of 19
    According to the article, this was a $20m market last year and expected to be $200m by 2031.  That is tiny, relatively speaking.  I don’t see the point in them entering this market, or what the point of it would be. 
    watto_cobrajbdragon
  • Reply 17 of 19
    If this does turn out to be true, I see it as more hand tracking for the VR headset. Why would Apple sell both a ring and the watch that do basically the same thing? Doesn’t make sense to me. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 19
    To give it great battery life, it will be tethered to an external battery pack. The battery pack will be tied around your wrist. Like a Watch.
    edited February 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    avon b7 said:
    But how fast will it vibrate? 
    Do you mean the men's version or the women's?
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