The R&D labs of companies like Apple are full of very diverse ideas. Of course, many of these ideas do not go beyond the walls of such premises and are only voiced at regular meetings. However, there are some that have great prospects.

Some of these devices were discussed by Mark Gurman in his weekly Power On column for Bloomberg.

The Cupertino-based company’s wearable gadget business has doubled in revenue over the past decade, now accounting for 10% of the company’s revenue. And here we are talking mainly about AirPods and Apple Watch. The latter often attracts the attention of those customers who want to track their health, such as heart rate, calories burned and steps taken per day, amount of sleep, etc.

However, not every user prefers to wear a smartwatch for this purpose. There are many people who would also like to monitor similar parameters of their own health, but at the same time wear traditional watches (this is, for example, me, who likes traditional chronographs rather than displays with additional applications), or do without one at all.

Among the products Apple is considering are smart glasses, a fitness ring, and even AirPods with cameras – Gurman

Oura Ring Horizon Stealth

And a fitness ring can help with this. This is the idea that was presented to the company’s healthcare executives a few years ago – a smart ring that tracks the wearer’s health, like the Apple Watch. Today, it is an additional gadget that can also consolidate the manufacturer’s ecosystem in the user’s life, once again deterring them from switching to Android.

Such a ring can be worn all day long, won’t require daily charging (like the Apple Watch), won’t annoy with information that isn’t necessarily necessary for the user (like notifications on the wrist), and will actually allow you to use different watches depending on current events or not wear one. At the same time, it can be a cheaper alternative to Apple Watch for monitoring your own health.

Competitors already have a ready-made and relatively well-known version of Oura Ring. Also this year, Samsung will release the Galaxy Ring. Apple, on the other hand, is still thinking about such a gadget, although there are people within the company who are actively trying to push it into something more than an idea.

Among the products Apple is considering are smart glasses, a fitness ring, and even AirPods with cameras – Gurman

Ray-Ban | Meta Wayfarer

Another device that could complement Apple’s portfolio of wearable gadgets is smart glasses. This is also not a new category, as Meta/Ray-Ban and Amazon have their own offers, such as Echo Frames. The former offer built-in cameras, while the latter have speakers and a voice assistant. Such glasses have already been released in several versions, and the first buyers have demonstrated that they are quite comfortable taking photos and videos, listening to music, or talking to a voice assistant using such a device.

Apple envisions such glasses to combine the best of existing competitors. Moreover, it is also a way to realize the company’s long-standing ambition of augmented reality. To begin with, they can become an alternative to AirPods with better battery life, more sensors, and broader AI capabilities. That is, they will be more convenient to use all day long. At the same time, it is possible that AirPods will not be covered in dust, as they will offer better sound quality for, for example, listening to music.

However, while wearing the glasses, the user will have constant and quite convenient access to other functions. At the same time, as in the case of the fitness ring and Apple Watch, this is a significantly cheaper and simpler alternative to Apple Vision Pro, which will make the product much more attractive to the mass consumer.

Among the products Apple is considering are smart glasses, a fitness ring, and even AirPods with cameras – Gurman

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)

Other potential improvements to wearable gadgets include the aforementioned AirPods. Popular headphones have already become a part of everyday life for millions of users, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need interesting updates.

So, last year, the development department started working on a project codenamed B798. In addition to the already familiar features of the headphones, they will have more advanced AI functions, which will be helped by updated sensors, as well as health tracking functions.

But what is much more interesting is the presence of low-resolution cameras in such headphones. At the same time, they should not significantly increase the size of current models. According to Mr. Gurman, these sensors “could be used to collect data that would be processed by artificial intelligence and help people in their daily routines.”

It is not yet known when the company will introduce such products and whether they will ever be produced. However, each of these gadgets would still help the company not only to occupy newly formed niches but also to improve existing ones. At the same time, it is not at all certain that cheaper and simpler devices would affect sales of more expensive ones.