There were plenty of cool gadgets on offer at CES 2024 this year, especially in the wearables space. AI headphones with built-in coaching applications, the best smartwatch from Casio that's more rugged than your average Garmin, and the GyroGlove, which – while still prohibitively expensive – can reduce tremors for those suffering from Parkinson’s.
However, some of the most exciting advances were considerably smaller; and our fledgeling best smart rings list looks like it’s about to get bigger. At least four smart rings were on display at CES, and with other efforts from the likes of Samsung probably on the way this year, it’s safe to say this burgeoning wearables category will be booming in 2024.
First up, the Evie smart ring from Movano. This model specialises in women’s health tracking, as well as general health day-to-day. Everything about it is carefully considered towards its target audience, from the open design that supports finger size fluctuations, to apparently using science around hormones and cycle tracking to blend “menstrual cycle, mood, and energy data with step, activity and heart health” according to Stacy Salvi, VP of product and strategy at Movano Health.
It’s a lightweight band sporting a classy design, and – similar to most smart rings –doesn’t even look like a wearable; it's just a chunky piece of jewellery. Inside, however, it uses medical-grade sensors combined with AI-enhanced insights, although details are a little thin regarding what role the AI plays here.
Another AI-infused smart ring is the Amazfit Helio Ring, which is aimed at elite athletes and offers detailed sleep tracking, heart health recovery stats, and a Readiness score reminiscent of the best Garmin watches. Rather than overall health and wellness, Amazfit’s offering is firmly entrenching itself in the fitness camp – the difference here showing that there's more to smart rings than their potential as the best sleep trackers.
This potential is highlighted further with the Lotus ring, a wearable controller for Lotus home devices that focuses on gesture controls. This innovative ring allows you to turn on lights and adjust the TV volume, for example, with small gestures and waves – providing you own a selection of Lotus compatible products. It’s all very Tony Stark, and we can’t wait to see how this technology develops – although we're pretty sure that every smart home ecosystem will want one of their own, rather than there being a wearable universal controller.
There are other smart rings kicking around, too, including last year’s Ultrahuman Ring Air, the health-tracking RingConn, the NFC payment-focused McClear and the grand-daddy of them all right now, the Oura Generation 3. If you’ve been paying attention to the news in this sector, you’ll know Samsung is beavering away on a Samsung Galaxy Ring, and Apple has filed patents for a potential product.
The smart ring revolution is here. Gone are the days of smartwatch innovations looking impressive; in 2024, if it’s not on your finger (or something similarly minimalist, possibly on a lapel like the Humane AI pin), it's unlikely to catch the eye. As smartwatches have grown in size and power, the next step is obviously to heading in the opposite direction, shrinking the tech so you don’t even look like you’re wearing any technology at all.
I predicted the dominance of minimalist wearables such as smart rings in our 2023 year in review: and if the past two weeks are anything to go by, it looks like that prediction might just have become a reality.
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Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.
Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.