Nascent smart ring wearables usage will balloon in 2024 --thanks to key innovations from Indian startups

08th January 2024
Nascent smart ring wearables usage will balloon in 2024  --thanks to key innovations  from Indian startups
Smart ring sales in India will double in 2024, predicts Counterpoint

By Anand Parthasarathy
January 8 , 20234: Already a world leader in the  smart wearables market, India is home to multiple innovations in a new and emerging form factor within this category which meant smart watches or audio  hearable audio gadgets: the smart ring.
By drastically reducing the weight of a wearable device to 2-4 grams  and crafting them like fashion accessories, while adding some new and useful functions, multiple    Indian startups are  taking on established leaders in the wearable business.
Market watcher Counterpoint predicts that  what was a  nascent segment in late  2023, will balloon in the new year, doubling  sale volumes and ringing  in ( pun intended!) sales of Rs 207 crore ( US $ 25 million).  Leading Indian brands like boAt and Noise have been joined  in the launch of smart rings by new  startups like Ultrahuman and Bonatra  who are concentrating on just this one type of wearable. It is only a matter of time before premium global brands like Samsung  will enter  this arena, suggests Counterpoint.
According to another tech analyst, IDC,  Ultrahuman currently leads the smart ring category,scooping up  over three-fourths of market share, followed by Pi Ring and boat. 
Explains IDC India  Research Manager Upasana Joshi: “Smart rings add novelty to the wearable device space, with brands trying to position it as a fashion accessory and a non-intrusive health device. While currently there are very few models, we can expect more mainstream brands launching more affordable options in 2024.”
There are two distinct application streams in a smart ring: health monitoring and contactless payments.
Health monitors  from Ultrahuman ,boAt, Noise and Bonatra
At  just 2.4 grams to 3.6 grams depending on the size the Ultrahuman Ring AIR, from a Bengaluru-based startup,  is claimed to be the lightest smart ring in the world.  Made in their Bangalore manufacturing facility  from titanium with  a tungsten  carbide carbon coating,  the ring measures  heart rate, oxygen saturation and skin temperature. It monitors sleep health and duration and   tracks the wearer’s movements for glucose metabolism. It costs Rs 28,499.
The smart ring from boAt is a Smart Activity Tracking, Heart Rate Monitoring, Smart Touch Control and Smart charging device that costs Rs 8999 from the company site.
The Luna Ring from Noise, offers a variety of health insights and activity  monitoring, It costs Rs 17,999.
The Smart Ring X1 from Bonatra tracks  sleep, movement, Heart Rate Variation (HRV) , temperature, and  Oxygen level (SPo2) for optimal health. It costs Rs  11,863.
Explains  Counterpoint Senior Analyst Anshika Jain: The smart ring, is a more natural and convenient way for consumers to track their health vitals and remain connected all the time, even during sleep when many are not comfortable wearing watches or put their watches to charge.” 
Contactless payment from 7 Ring
“Just place your fist on a Point Of Sale machine, wearing a 7 Ring, and your payments will be approved!”,  say   the makers, Mumbai-based Sevenring Innovations Pvt Ltd.    Its contactless payment feature enables users to make secure contactless  payments without the need for a wallet, phone, app, pin, or OTP. It uses NFC or Near Field Communication technology which doesn’t need Bluetooth to make the connection
The 7 Ring  is crafted from Zirconia ceramic material and promises a combo of fashion and hassle-free payment.  It is also one of the more affordable of the Indian smart rings and is offered for Rs 7000.
Combine  health tracking with tap-to-pay
The two streams of health and payment can  coalesce: In September last year,  Muse Wearables, a startup incubated at IIT Madras unveiled  Ring One which it claimed was “The world’s most comfortable and stylish smart ring that offers advanced health tracking  features” ( including  cuff-less blood pressure measurement)  and on-the-go payments, with the ease of ‘tap-to-pay’. With its “Turn wheel” interface, users can quickly  switch from workout mode to payment mode.
Ring One is “completely designed and manufactured in India” and the products are already in the mass production stage. Ring One is priced at  Rs 18,999.
The smart ring  seems poised to  catch  the Indian buyers fancy in 2024 with its  utter simplicity of design and  combo of utilities.  Time to ‘ring’ in some smart changes!
This has appeared in Swarajya

Illustrations for this article here