Bored With Your Smartwatch? Smart Rings Are The Next Big Thing In Wearables

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More than a few exhibitors at CES 2024 seem to believe that smart rings are the next big fad in wearable tech. For one (er, two), Amazfit's Helio Ring and WHSP Ring would like a place on your hands the next time you hit the gym or go to sleep. For folks who abhor or have gotten tired of wearing watches, these rings might be your answer to wellness tracking.

While smartwatches are great and all, there's an emerging interest in downsizing that genre into a ring that you wear around your finger. At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas this week, two brands have revealed their unique plans to take the fight to smart ring pioneers like WIthings and Oura.

South Korea-based VTouch demoed its Kickstarter-bound WHSP Ring, which you can apparently issue commands to without needing to raise your voice in public (hence 'WHSP-Ring', get it?). It works with the help of internal gyroscopic and proximity sensors, plus a mic that activates when you raise the ring close to your mouth. 

The WHSP Ring focuses on being a chat AI-powered assistant, helping you get detailed answers to complex queries, organize your schedule, etc. A couple of interesting things to note about this device is that because users interact with either their voice and the gesture pad on the side of the band, the WHSP Ring is best worn on the index finger (as seen in the video). Another big miss is there's no health or fitness functions built-in as far as we know. 

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Amazfit Helio Ring (Credit: Amazfit)

If health tracking is your thing, Amazfit is launching the Helio Ring soon, although like VTouch's product, no actual release date and price details are known. The Helio Ring can either be used independently for tracking heart rate, sleep, athletic recovery, and workout tracking (running, cycling, walking, and treadmill only for now), or as a compliment to an Amazfit watch for deeper data capture and analysis. The Helio also sports 10ATM (100m equivalent) water resistance, beating out most smartwatches on sale today. AI will be a smaller part of Amazfit's experience, centered more on an AI chatbot that you can ask about your health through the Zepp Aura AI app. 

Not announced (yet) at CES was Samsung's rumored Galaxy Ring. It's likely to show up this year, but what it'll be able to do, look like, or cost is anyone's guess. As to how much smart rings gain traction, particularly in the fitness-tracking bit, will depend on how accurate the captured data is compared to watches or dedicated fitness wearables. Smart rings have fantastic accuracy when the body is stationary, but have proven not too great at fitness activities. 

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