Fitbit’s patent application for a smart ring with the ability to accurately detect blood oxygen

Fitbit’s patent application for a smart ring with the ability to accurately detect blood oxygen

Fitbit’s patent application for a smart ring with the ability to accurately detect blood oxygen It is not unlikely in the future to track health and fitness Instead of a smart watch or bracelet, buy one of Fitbit’s rings. A recent patent application by Fitbit on the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published which shows that The company has the idea of ​​making smart rings. The application was filed with the USPTO in December 2020 and published in early June 2021 under the name Fitbit. Considering that Fitbit submitted its first application request in the field of smart rings in 2019, it seems that the decision of Fitbit – which is now owned by Google – to produce this device is serious.

Fitbit’s application for this patent is filed under the title: “A Ring for Optical Measurement of Biometric Data”. According to the request, Fitbit apparently means by “biometric data” more than anything else, the blood oxygen saturation level, or SpO2. Of course, here, SpO2 measurement is done in a completely different way than smart watches and it will be more accurate on paper.

The smart ring mechanism described in this patent application is similar in function It is a pulse oximeter that is widely used in medical centers. This device – shaped like a clamp – is attached to a finger, toe or earlobe. Light is emitted from one side of the device, which after passing through the skin and veins reaches a light sensor (photodetector) on the other side of the device. The main mechanism of the device is related to the way light is absorbed by red blood cells; Because light absorption in oxygenated cells will be different compared to cells without oxygen. In this way, the profile of the light passing through the finger (or earlobe) shows how much oxygen is in the blood.

This type of mechanism is possible in a device such as a watch or bracelet It is not, and instead, reflected light should be used in these devices. Blood that is full of oxygen reflects more red light than infrared, but on the other hand, blood that does not have enough oxygen reflects more infrared than red light. According to this request, blood oxygen monitoring in this method will be accompanied by noise, especially if the watch is not completely level with the skin of the user’s hand.

The sentences that Fitbit stated in the application of this patent show that the company believes that the method used to monitor the light passing through this ring can be used for other purposes such as taking blood pressure (without the need for a cuff). ) and also measure glucose level and blood fat concentration. Finally, the data collected by the ring is sent to the Fitbit application on the smartphone or the Fitbit smart watch. According to Fitbit, this is done via Bluetooth or NFC.

It should be noted, the idea of ​​Fitbit is not completely new because the Finnish company Oura has been implementing this idea for some time by producing a smart ring called Oura Ring. Is. The Oura Ring – which hit the market in 2016 – can measure quantities such as heart rate, heart rate fluctuations, breathing rate and body temperature at night. But unlike the Oura Ring – which works mainly at night – Fitbit’s smart ring (if produced) seems to be more suitable for use during the day, because the text of the application talks about the presence of a motion sensor that determines what moment to collect Data is appropriate (for example, when the user is stationary).

Oura Ring

Staying still is extremely important, as movement disrupts the function and reduces accuracy. That’s why the Polar Verity Sense heart rate sensor—which is worn on the arm and moves less than the smartwatch—is usually more accurate than the watch (even though both use an optical heart rate sensor).

Many patents never reach production, and therefore there is no guarantee that Fitbit’s idea of ​​a smart ring will be commercialized, but an examination of the company’s approach shows that Fitbit has recently been seriously on the way to producing products with a focus on the jewel form factor. has taken a step For example, the Fitbit Luxe smart bracelet has recently become available with a gold-colored stainless steel chain band, which was made by a jewelry designer named Gorjana.

Having said that, it is not unlikely that we will see the mass production of the Fitbit smart ring in the future. It is interesting to know that, in the text of Fitbit’s patent application, various scenarios about the shape of this ring are proposed, including a normal ring, a large ring on the thumb, and even a combination of several rings, each of which is designed for a different purpose. Of course, it should be noted that a large smart ring certainly attracts more attention than a fitness bracelet, and for this reason, according to some experts, many customers may not be willing to use such rings. Maybe Amazon also produced Echo Loop has stopped.

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