We're very likely to witness the launch of the new Galaxy Ring this year, but it was Amazfit's Helio Ring that made me wonder when we'll see Garmin launch its first smart ring. Hopefully, very soon, but the brand hasn't said or even hinted at anything yet.
Amazfit announced a new ambassador in Paris last week, world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, and said that he will use an Amazfit running watch to manage his training and races and the Amazfit Helio Ring to optimise his recovery.
Which is the perfect combination, if you ask me. Coros athlete and long-distance-running legend Eliud Kipchoge has been using the Oura smart ring to track and optimise his sleep, but admittedly, that system is a bit disjointed, as the watch doesn't 'see' the sleep data.
Amazfit's setup will bring all data into one app, which helps the algorithm provide better training and recovery suggestions. People don't mind wearing smart rings to bed as much as they do running watches (and wrist wearables, in general).
For example, I love my Garmin Forerunner 965 to bits, but even with the nylon/fabric strap I attached to it recently, it feels bulky on the wrist. I wish I could wear it to bed, so the Garmin algorithm could better track my heart rate variability and recovery.
This would improve workout and training load suggestions, which is what you need when training as hard as most Garmin watch users do. Currently, the watch only gets to see half of your training – the waking part – which isn't enough for accurate training planning, no matter how much work you put in.
Garmin doesn't necessarily need a smart ring. It needs a small enough tracking device that people don't mind wearing during sleep. Whoop has a decent system and a smallish tracker (without a display) that can be worn on the wrist or other body areas via the Whoop Body collection of underwear, tights, etc.
This clever system allows you to find a setup that works for you. For example, you can wear the tracker on your wrist when you sleep and in your sports bra during the day. This allows all affected body parts to get a rest from the tracker without compromising data collection.
Of course, smart rings are in vogue right now, so it would make sense for Garmin to launch one. The company has made a considerable effort in recent years to go after the Apple Watch crowd with wearables such as Garmin Venu 3 and Garmin Lily 2.
The next logical step for Garmin would be to join the smart ring ranks. They could use it for the stuff I mentioned above but also to familiarise people with the Garmin ecosystem, which is infamous for its hardcoreness.
Coupled with the recently revamped Connect app, a Garmin Smart Ring would most certainly open the metaphorical gates, allowing more casual users to enjoy what Garmin has to offer.
For someone like me – a.k.a. someone intimately familiar with all things brand's offering – the Garmin Smart Ring would allow me to collect training and recovery data seamlessly throughout the day without any discomfort.
It's a win for everyone, really.
Let's hope we'll get a glimpse of the Garmin Smart Ring soon enough. Until then, you can always use apps like Apple Health or Google Fit to collate data from different wearables.