Meet Oura Ring, a $300 wearable fitness, health, sleep and temperature tracker
Put a ring on it
Mention fitness tracker and the mental imagery of a smartwatch or wrislet will instinctly form in your mind. Well, perhaps it's time to debunk that stereotype, as it turns out health and fitness trackers can too exist in the form of.... a ring. Introducing the titanium Oura Ring, a wearable fitness, health, sleep and temperature tracker — stylish enough for everyday wear. It also comes at a price tag of USD 299. Of course, Prince Harry wears one, and NBA also sponsored their players with these glitzy bands. But does that attest to its usefulness? We dig deeper.
Instead of detecting your health vitals from your pulse, Oura taps on our fingers for better accuracy. The sensors on the ring measures directly from the arteries within your finger. And because of its placement on the finger, the ring detects a more comprehensive scope on your daily active calorie burn, even subtle things like household chores. Contrary to the green light LEDs found in most other wearables, Oura uses infrared light photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors, which can supposedly reach deeper.
While there have been reports and rumours that the Oura Ring can detect the onset of COVID-19 when the virus is still at the asymptomatic stage, it still remains questionable if it is an accurate way to confirm whether or not someone does indeed have the virus. Which means, sadly, we still have to stick to the much-dreaded swab test.
But what the Oura Ring can definitely do is general health tracking, as it has built-in sensors that track activity levels, calories, steps, inactive times and naps. It also works around the clock as you sleep — as long as you leave it on, it'll be able to take stock of your heart rates, respiratory rate, body temperature, deep and REM sleep, nighttime movement and sleeping timing and quality.
All this data will then be compartmentalised into three scores: Sleep, Activity, and Readiness. The higher your score, the more healthy you are in this department. For example, the more total sleep you get per night, and the longer you spend in REM sleep and deep sleep, the higher your sleep score will be. And the more you move around during the day, the more your activity score goes up. As for the readiness score, it measures how well-prepped you are physically to start the day.
So how do you view all this data since its just a teeny-tiny ring? You'll be able to conveniently check your personal comprehensive data on a smartphone via the Oura app. Just so you can make meaningful changes to your lifestyle habits or schedules. For example, the Oura Ring is able to use patterns in body temperature and heart rate to track your menstrual cycle (since our temperatures tend to drop before that time of the month), hence helping to predict your next period.