Apple’s smart ring is coming soon

Jonas Daehnert / Sim in

It’s no secret that Apple has been eyeing smart ring technology for a long time. Now, it appears the market is mature, and Apple is ready to move beyond the patent stage. According to reports from Electronic TimesApple’s development process is getting closer to transforming it into a product that is ready to be marketed.

“It looks like commercialization is imminent,” the report said, citing insiders with knowledge of the supply chain. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t say when exactly the “Apple Ring” will hit retail stores, but it shouldn’t take long, considering the current market status.

Apple smart ring with rotating parts.
USPTO/Apple

Samsung has officially confirmed plans to launch its own smart ring later this year. Plus, the market is no longer exclusive to just one big name like Oura Ring. We now have newcomers like RingConn, Ultrahuman, and Amovan — among others. But players in the market aren’t just making rings that do fitness tracking.

There are also brands like Quontic and McLear that are peddling smart rings that facilitate contactless payments. Both areas are of interest to Apple, especially if we look at products with huge success like Apple Fitness+ and the entire Apple Pay ecosystem.

It seems that Apple is already preparing for it. Throughout 2015, Bloomberg reporting about Apple patent which has a ring with a touch screen interface that is no less. In the following years, several more patents emerged detailing rings that could also be used to control other connected devices such as Macs, Apple TVs, iPads, and even VR gear.

Apple's smart ring patent dates back to 2015.
Apple

Recently, Apple Patent discovered another smart ring patent filed in the US that offers NFC and could also technically be used as a controller for the Vision Pro mixed reality headset. It’s worth noting here that Apple hasn’t made a physical controller for the headset, so launching the ring as a companion device would make sense. We’ve seen some concepts of what the Apple Ring might look like based on Apple’s patent history, and they look very impressive.

Based on Apple’s history, Apple is usually not the first in a new product category. They like to wait until the category matures and the technology develops before companies enter. The Apple Watch is a great example of that strategy, and it seems Apple is looking to replicate the same with its smartwatch efforts.

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