Sophisticated ring-sized 'wellness' computer
The world’s first sleep tracker that’s worn on your finger.
At a glance
Oura is a Finnish invention born out of years of boundary-pushing research and technical innovation. This premium product pairs sophisticated sensor technology with a unique design that sets it apart from its peers.
Described on its website as a “wellness computer”, Oura monitors a range of physiological measurements during sleep and wakefulness, to not only inform, but to analyse and improve wellbeing.
Ergonomics and design
The Oura ring is forged from zirconia, a lab-made, hard crystalline material which is scratch-resistant and waterproof to boot. It’s available in three different colours (mirror black, arctic white or stealth black), as well as a variety of sizes.
Obviously it is to be worn on the finger so it’s important Oura looks the part too. Luckily its sleek, somewhat futuristic appearance is easy on the eyes and will no doubt attract some wanton glances.
How does it work?
Oura is unique in being the only wearable to utilize a pulse oximeter to measure blood volume via arteries on the finger. With over 17 years experience in designing heart-rate monitors at Polar, Oura’s engineers have developed algorithms that can pinpoint the exact time between heartbeats and other physiological signals.
Oura combines this with data gleaned from the inbuilt accelerometer to analyse how the body reacts to certain events throughout your day.
Oura observes heart-rate, respiration, body temperature and movement, but instead of using EEG (brain-wave) sensors to detect sleep staging – it combines pulse volume and 3D accelerometer data to interpret stages of sleep and distinguish between light sleep, deep sleep and REM.
Apps and connectivity
Although Oura uses Bluetooth Smart to communicate with your phone, a permanent connection is not needed. Happily this means you can slip it on and not give it another thought for hours, days even – or until you want to analyse the data it’s been quietly recording.
It’s worth bearing in mind however that battery life only stretches to three days so you might want to keep its ring box (that doubles as a charger) nearby.
Based on the data the ring gathers, the Oura iOS/Android app will provide the wearer with visuals and make recommendations that will aid you in optimising physical and mental performance.
All of this data is turned into a Readiness Score – a percentage that you can use to help shape lifestyle choices and ascertain how well rested you are.
Crucially the Oura app will help you to:
• improve the quality of your sleep
• ensure you achieve full recharge and readiness
• adjust daily activity and rhythms accordingly
• make informed daily choices
At the time of writing only the iOS app is available to download. A release date of Early 2016 has been touted for the Android version.
Also in the pipeline for 2016 is a cloud-based service and an open API to allow developers to create an ecosystem of apps based on data gathered from Oura.
Price and availability
Three decades-worth of science and research has been packed into the ring, unsurprisingly making Oura a pretty costly investment. At $279-449 it has positioned itself at the top tier of sleep tracking gadgets.
Originally funded on Kickstarter, Oura is now available for purchase through https://ouraring.com/ourashop/