Forget the Samsung Galaxy Ring – a Fitbit smart ring could be en route, according to a new patent

Forget the Samsung Galaxy Ring – a Fitbit smart ring could be en route, according to a new patent

The Samsung Galaxy Ring is expected to get its full launch at the next Unpacked event on July 10, but it could soon get some serious new rivals for the title of best smart ring – including a Fitbit smart ring, according to a newly-granted patent.

Fitbit may no longer be the wearable giant it was a few years ago, but the prospect of a Fitbit smart ring sounds like an obvious winner for both the Google-owned company and its loyal fans. As spotted by Gadgets & Wearables, some detailed patents published on June 4 suggest that it’s now potentially on the cards.

The patent, which is titled ‘Ring for optically measuring biometric data’, is a 20-page document describing a “ring-shaped wearable device for detecting biometrics with a light source and a photodetector”. Fitbit’s original patent application was first submitted back in June 2021, but it’s now been given ‘granted’ status by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

The illustrations (below) show a classic smart ring design similar to the Samsung Galaxy Ring and Oura Ring, although there are variations that include “an elastic element that pulls the two halves of the ring together”. The patent also adds that “other clasping mechanisms are contemplated”.

What exactly would this smart ring do? Unsurprisingly, the focus would be on fitness and sleep tracking. The patent’s text and illustrations contain several mentions of SpO2 monitoring, which means Fitbit’s ring would be able to detect your blood oxygen saturation. That’s helpful for understanding how your body is handling particular workouts and is also something that the Samsung Galaxy Ring will offer.

Like the Galaxy Ring, Fitbit’s ring would also pair to an external app (most likely, the Fitbit app) via Bluetooth or NFC. From there, you’d theoretically be able to see sleep insights and also potentially get feedback from Fitbit’s AI coach, which is due to land on Android ‘later this year’.

How likely is a Fitbit smart ring?

The Fitbit Luxe with Gorjana braclet on a table and a wrist

Fitbit has dabbled with wearable jewelry before with the Fitbit Luxe (above), which had options for fashion-focused bracelets. (Image credit: Fitbit)

As always, we have to apply caution when looking at patents, as many never come to fruition and there’s no guarantee we’ll ever see a Fitbit smart ring. However, this one has now been pushed through to the approval stage – and despite Fitbit’s many woes since it was acquired by Google, the concept would make complete sense.

Google clearly still sees potential in the Fitbit brand, as we saw from the recent launch of the Fitbit Ace LTE. The smartwatch for kids is certainly pricey, but it has been built from the ground up to encourage younger folk to exercise, with built-in games and a motivational rewards system.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll also see a Fitbit smart ring soon, but there’s no doubt that smart rings have now taken the wearables baton from fitness trackers in 2024 – with even smart earrings now in the pipeline. The Fitbit brand is also still hugely popular, stemming from the days when it pioneered fitness trackers – and this patent suggests it could one day repeat the trick with smart rings.

Fitbit is also no stranger to wearable jewelry, launching the Fitbit Luxe in 2021 with one gold-toned stainless steel link bracelet from designer Gorjana. So while Fitbit’s first patent application for a smart ring came way back in 2019, this latest update means we’re a little bit more hopeful that we could finally see one for real – which would give us a great alternative to the Oura Ring and Samsung Galaxy Ring. 

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