Apple Smart Ring rumoured to work on all body parts… apart from your finger

Apple’s Smart Ring might not be the wearable we expected, according to new report

A close up of the Oura ring on a black background
(Image credit: Oura)

A new patent granted to Apple has suggested that its upcoming smart ring could fit on more than just your finger. Filtering through the many patents that Apple has submitted and been granted throughout the years, this new statement clearly shows that Apple is taking its wearable technology seriously… but this rumour has me baffled.

Wearable technology has had a huge surge this year, and I’m not just talking about the best smartwatches. Many brands have been focusing on developing smart rings, including Samsung with its upcoming Samsung Galaxy Ring and the recently released Circular Ring Slim which has its own AI wellness assistant.

While we’re seeing more and more smart rings entering the market, Apple has had plans for a smart ring for several years, although we have yet to see one launch. In 2019, Apple was granted a patent that included “devices, methods and user interfaces for a wearable electronic ring computing device.”

Since then, things have been relatively quiet on the Apple smart ring front, although we have been treated to new Apple watches, like the latest Apple Watch Series 9. But this year, during the launch of the Apple Vision Pro, a new patent surfaced showing off the internal components of the potential smart ring, and how users can interact with the wearable. 

Now, a newly granted patent (how many patents is that now?!) has stated that the upcoming Apple Smart Ring has more to it than just fitting on your finger. In the patent, the ‘electronic system with ring device’ still mentions a smart ring for your finger, but it’s being used as an example.

Ring and ring shape is repeatedly mentioned but it’s not entirely specific about whether the smart ring will just be for your finger. As quoted by Apple Insider, “the ring device may have a ring shape that allows the ring device to be worn on a body part of a user (e.g., around a user’s wrist, arm, leg, ankle, neck, head, and/or other body part.”

A patent render of an Apple Smart Ring concept

(Image credit: US Patent Office)

Apart from this detail, the majority of the patent discusses how the smart ring will interact and with what devices. There are many notes about companion devices and how the smart ring wearer can point and use other hand gestures to “facilitate interactions between the ring device and objects in the user’s environment.”

So, is it a ring? Is it a watch? Is it a headband? The new patent hasn’t exactly made things clearer for us and I’m not entirely sold on the idea of it being used on multiple body parts.

As someone who still doesn’t have a smartwatch, I’ve become really interested in smart rings, as I think it would suit my lifestyle better than a watch. I like the idea of the lack of screen and how easy it is to use and fit into your daily life, and I think that’s why a lot of people are drawn to them, too.

So, I’m a bit baffled about how you’re meant to wear the Apple electronic ring device when it’s eventually launched. After this new patent, I’m excited and confused to see Apple’s future plans on its potential smart ring.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!