Apple is exploring new wearable categories and products in ongoing development

Shawn Knight

Posts: 15,289   +192
Staff member
The big picture: Apple is constantly experimenting with new products and concepts behind closed doors and occasionally, we catch wind of a couple of these ideas. The latest to make their way through the rumor mill include a trio of wearable devices that may or may not ever see the light of day.

According to the well-connected Mark Gurman, the Cupertino tech giant in recent years has considered putting out a smart ring and smart glasses. Both would be extensions of existing product lines in terms of functionality – the ring would feature health-tracking tech like what can already be found in the Apple Watch and the glasses could support audio (overlapping with AirPods) and leverage cameras for various tasks (sort of like Vision Pro).

The ring could be a viable option for those that like the health-focused features of the Apple Watch but don't need or want the extra bells and whistles or bulk associated with wearing a watch. It could also appeal to folks that simply prefer to wear a traditional watch instead of a smart variant, or those that don't like watches at all.

Smart glasses have been done before, but not very well. Google Glass launched more than a decade ago to an awful reception, prompting the company to halt production to reevaluate. Others have also put out connected spectacles over the years to mixed results although lately, it seems people are warming up to the privacy concerns that once haunted the category.

Gurman said the ring idea is just that for now – as in, it isn't something Apple is actively developing. That may or may not be a mistake considering Samsung just announced its new Galaxy Ring wearable at MWC 2024 in Barcelona. The spectacles sound as if they are further along in the process – in what Apple calls the "technology investigation" phase.

Another project, reportedly codenamed B798, is said to involve putting cameras on AirPods in order to give them some of the benefits of smart glasses without lenses and frames. Gurman said the cameras could "theoretically be used to capture data that would be processed via AI and assist people in their daily routines" but didn't offer any additional insight.

As always, it's entirely possible – or in some cases, likely – that these ideas may never evolve into official products. Apple is more selective than others when it comes to launching new product categories, often preferring to be as certain as possible that a new gadget will find success rather than throwing a ton of ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks.

Image credit: Semeon Hrozian, Soulful Pizza

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A Smart Ring is probably the most idotic idea ever conceived by Apple. My wedding ring is enough bling for these fingers.
 
A Smart Ring is probably the most idotic idea ever conceived by Apple. My wedding ring is enough bling for these fingers.
Sure, but what if you like showing off how much you like having your prostate examined? Driving an EV only gets you so far in that respect
 
A Smart Ring is probably the most idotic idea ever conceived by Apple. My wedding ring is enough bling for these fingers.

I got sleep apnea, smart ring can track health information, spO2, heart rate without the need for a screen on my wrist... For some cases it's useful.
 
I got sleep apnea, smart ring can track health information, spO2, heart rate without the need for a screen on my wrist... For some cases it's useful.
I have sleep apnea as well, but I don't want Apple (nor any company) knowing that information... nor my heart rate, blood pressure, # of bowel movements or the color of my piss.
 
I have sleep apnea as well, but I don't want Apple (nor any company) knowing that information... nor my heart rate, blood pressure, # of bowel movements or the color of my piss.
I respect your desire for privacy, but if you use Instagram, Gmail, Whatsapp, they already know at least half that's to know about you...
 
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