Apple's smart ring, glasses and AirPods with camera are rumored to be part of wearable devices

Oura Smart Ring

Rumour assessment   🤔 Possibly

Apple has been investing in wearables for years, and a report on smart glasses, smart rings, and AirPods details what the future holds.

Apple already sells a range of wearable devices to consumers, including the Apple Watch line and various AirPods models. But like every other tech company out there, it believes it can do more with its products.

In Bloomberg's Sunday “Power On” newsletter, Mark Gurman claims that Apple is coming up with ideas for wearable devices it might introduce in the future. Some of them have already been proposed in numerous patent applications over the years.

The big offering could be smart glasses, which many believe is in Apple's future given the existence of the Apple Vision Pro. Gurman writes that the glasses may offer smart audio features, as well as some artificial intelligence-related features, instead of the expected full augmented reality experience.

The second item is a smart ring, which has been repeatedly mentioned in rumors and patent applications. According to Gurman, the ring will offer health tracking functionality much like the Apple Watch, but without the need to wear Apple's larger wearable device.

Along with smart glasses, Gurman is also considering adding a set of cameras to the AirPods. This idea is considered more likely to be implemented compared to other proposed ideas.

Apple allegedly launched a project codenamed B798 in 2023 with the goal of adding low-resolution cameras to AirPods.

For Apple, cameras could provide the same effect as attaching cameras to smart glasses, except without the bezel. Cameras can feed data to AI, which can then assist the user in daily life.

Apple has naturally also explored the potential of other sensors inside the AirPpods, including biometric sensors for health tracking.

Gurman doesn't give a timeline for the potential wearable devices, but AppleInsider has repeatedly reported on patents in similar areas for years. This at least demonstrates that Apple is thinking about these ideas, although it doesn't necessarily guarantee they'll be released.

Apple Ring rumors and research go back at least nine years.

Patent reports do show that Apple has been thinking about the usefulness of smart rings for a considerable time. One rather dated feature is an app that appeared in October 2015, which shows that Apple has been thinking about this for at least almost a decade.

This application, “Devices and Methods for a Ring Computing Device,” primarily describes a miniature Apple Watch that is worn on the finger. Despite its miniature size, the device still has a miniature touchscreen display, as well as many of the elements found in the Apple Watch itself.

Indeed, Apple was so keen on the idea of ​​a miniature Apple Watch on the finger that it filed an extended application issued in 2019 for the same idea.

Apple's smart ring concept from a 2015 patent application [USPTO]

The list of features proposed in the 2015 application includes heart rate monitoring and inductive charging , Force Touch, Taptic Engine for haptic feedback, and an accelerometer and gyroscope for gesture input. The latter two also offered handwriting recognition capabilities.

At the same time, it was also proposed to use voice control, as well as communication via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, among other elements. There has also been a lot of discussion about using the ring to control other equipment.

This application, of course, was not the earliest mention of an Apple ring: concepts appeared in 2007, and rumors during a 2013 Apple supplier tour predated the patent application. But the app at least provides concrete proof that Apple has actually explored the concept.

Assessing rumors



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