A wellness-tracking smart ring

The Oura health-tracking ring is awesome in both functionality and engineering

Oura, from €314
Oura, from €314 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

My friend Justin in the States has been making me envious for the past year with a fitness and sleep-tracking ring he bought from a San Francisco startup called Motiv. I have never worn a ring of any sort, but because I can’t abide Fitbit-type bracelets, I always felt I’d make an exception for a health tracker I could use unobtrusively 24/7. The Apple Watch is a good tracker, but I don’t wear it at weekends (the constant notifications are antisocial) or keep it on in bed. Motiv, however, has been a US-only product until recently and still doesn’t ship to Europe. Finnish company Oura, meanwhile, has beaten Motiv to it in these parts and its smart rings are quite awesome, both in functionality and engineering. I also prefer the look of Oura’s rings. 

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It took me no more than a few hours to get used to wearing the Oura, and within a day I felt we’d be together for life. Well, life in technology is about a year, but you know what I mean. Engineering-wise, the fact that this tiny, seamless thing contains 80 electronic components, including a battery with power for a week, is extraordinary. But it’s the richness of data the ring collects – both by day and, most interestingly, through the night – that has blown my bedsocks off. Sleep time (precisely accurate), number of wake-ups, deep sleep, REM, heart rate through the night, respiratory rate, temperature… it’s all there – plus really insightful analysis and interpretation. 

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