oura smart ring : the most accurate sleep and activity tracker at your fingertips

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Founded in Finland in 2013, Oura is a healthcare technology company best known for its Ring. The device is a bright ring that uses sensors to track various health metrics immediately searchable on the proprietary app. Oura Ring is not a medical device, although it achieves accuracy comparable to scientific equipment. The manufacturers specify that its purpose is not to diagnose but rather to identify the areas of well-being we lack to remedy them quickly through a simple scoring system.

Official video presentation of Oura Ring

functions

Unlike other fitness trackers that collect your data, Oura processes it by generating an overview of your daily habits through a scoring system. In particular, the system identifies three macro areas: sleep, activity, and “readiness,” attributing a score ranging from 0 to 100, generated through the analysis of many factors directly detected by the device. These scores can be viewed daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

For example, the activity value measures your activity in the last period and includes recorded workouts, steps, calories burned, inactivity, and naps. The app also tracks how often you have reached your daily activity goals ( set by the user). Even if you cannot track your workouts in real-time, you can link the app to an Apple Health and Google Fit account to view them later or enter them manually. 

The sleep score is the field in which Oura Ring differs most from other trackers on the market, as it puts a lot of measurements into system. The most critical measurements are time spent in light, deep and REM sleep, resting pulse, heart rate variability, number of breaths per minute (respiratory rate), body temperature, and night movements. Currently, Oura Ring is one of the few sleep trackers that monitors both body temperature and heart rate variability, even measured as the change in milliseconds between each beat.

The last value, “readiness”, is the most particular of the three and constitutes an authentic exclusive of Oura Ring. This number indicates how ready you are to deal with the day’s stressors. The information is calculated using metrics such as resting heart rate, body temperature and previous level of physical activity. This last piece of data is less empirical than the other two, but it can still be of value in the overall assessment of our mental/physical health.

features

What is unique about this product is that all these functions are integrated within an object of tiny size and look very similar to many jewellery designs in everyday use. Depending on the size, the ring weighs between 4 and 6 grams (lighter than a wedding band) and measures just 7.0 mm. In addition, the Oura Ring is waterproof up to 100 meters, so you can bathe, wash dishes and even swim with it.

According to Oura, the ring has a battery life of 4-7 days, with a full charge taking 20-80 minutes, depending on the charger used. Although the app will remind you when the battery level is low, the company suggests charging the ring for short periods during the day, such as brushing your teeth or showering. Another way to extend battery life is to put the ring in aeroplane mode, during which the device will continue to record data for up to 6 weeks but not sync it with the app.

The device has many highly advanced sensors that perfectly adhere to the skin to function correctly. On the inside of the ring – so in contact with the skin – are an infrared sensor that monitors heart rate and two sensors that measure body temperature. The ring also contains an accelerometer to detect movement. Therefore it is not important which finger you will wear it on, but the only thing you need to pay attention to is that it fits snugly on your finger.

The ring is durable, utterly hypoallergenic titanium, and is available in two shapes and four colours, including silver, black, matte grey, and gold. It is priced between €314 and €419, depending on the colour and style. While the basic ring starts at €314, the cost increases to €419 for the matte grey and gold models.

conclusions

While it’s not the only sleep and activity tracker on the market, the Oura Ring stands out as one of the few ring-shaped devices with a sophisticated and fashionable design. Its shape can be an advantage given its lightness and compactness. As long as it fits perfectly on any of the hands; otherwise, the measured data will be inaccurate. Another important difference is that the data is processed through Oura technology designed to educate, inform and help users achieve their individual goals.

I have to say that receiving a score each day on the three areas of interest: readiness, sleep, and activity, is a great incentive to improve. In conclusion, before buying this product at a high price anyway, I recommend thinking well about what use you will make of it. If you’re a good sportsman, you’ll want to lean toward the more comprehensive smartwatches that offer real-time measurements (perhaps even with GPS) and scheduled workouts to choose from.

While While if you’re looking for a beautifully designed tracker that monitors your overall health and helps you improve daily in the three main areas of interest, Oura Ring is the right choice. At present, the only competitor in the market is the RingConn presented through a campaign of crowdfunding.

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