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Samsung Unveils Galaxy Ring. Can the Tech Giant Challenge Oura?
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Samsung Unveils Galaxy Ring. Can the Tech Giant Challenge Oura?

Samsung’s new smart ring will monitor key health metrics such as heart rate, sleep patterns and respiratory rate

Samsung officially introduced the Galaxy Ring, its latest innovation in wearables, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The new device marks the South Korean tech giant’s first venture into the smart ring category and the emergence of a key competitor for market leaders like Oura.

The Galaxy Ring comes equipped with a variety of sensors designed to monitor key health metrics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, respiratory rate and the time it takes for a user to fall asleep. The information will populate what Samsung calls “MyVitality Score,” which offers personalized health insights based on these different metrics. 

Despite the arrival of a new competitor, Oura CEO Tom Hale called Samsung’s entry into the smart ring space a positive for the industry as a whole.

“New players entering the space is validation for the category and drives us to aim higher to serve our members and community,” Hale told TechCrunch.

Although Samsung has smartphones and smartwatches, the Galaxy Ring caters to different consumer needs, noted Hon Pak, head of the digital health team at Samsung Electronics.

“Our own customers told us, I want choice. I want the ability to have other forms of wearables to measure health,” Pak told CNBC. “And some want to wear the watch, some want to wear the watch and the ring and get benefit from both. Some just want more simplicity.”

The Galaxy Ring is designed to work seamlessly with Samsung’s smartwatches, providing users with a comprehensive overview of their health when used in tandem. One of the most anticipated features of the ring is its ability to monitor noninvasive glucose levels and blood pressure, a significant advancement in health technology. Samsung is also researching how best to use artificial intelligence to give deeper insights into a person’s health. 

“Imagine (a) large language model, acting as my digital assistant, while looking at the context of my medical records, my physiological data, my engagement with a mobile device, the wearables during all of that … begins to bring greater insights and personalization opportunities,” Pak said. “A digital assistant coach is (…) absolutely needed.” 

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The smart ring market could grow to $1 billion or more by the 2030s, according to industry estimates. Samsung’s entrance into the space seems to be a validation of the market’s growth potential.

Oura, the category’s leader by far, has around 100 granted patents, with almost 30 pending patents, which could suggest potential intellectual property disputes down the line between major players.

In addition to brands like Movano (Evie Ring) and RingConn looking to capture market share by offering differentiating features like a focus on women’s health and no subscription fees, there are rumors that Apple could look to enter the space with a smart ring of its own.

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