Winner of the CES 2016 innovation awards for the best of category, Ōura is a simple wearable ring. It measures your heart rate, breathing rate and sleep, just by sitting on your finger.
It also knows about your activities, like how many steps you’ve taken or how far you’ve traveled.
From there the companion software is able to tell you so much more about your life. It doesn’t just measure those things, it tells you how that data affects your body, your life.
It’s not the first wearable ring we’ve covered, but it may be the best.
The Ōura annoying for only one reason. I have to use the cut and paste feature in lieu of my alt+ shortcuts since I’ve never had to make the “Ō” before and I’m lazy. If I were wearing the Ōura, it would say my heart rate is just above sleeping I’m so lazy.
Kidding aside, Ōura is a solid design offering a specific promise which may just put it ahead of all other rings.
Ōura design elements
Forged in the best ceramic zirconia, Ōura sits on your finger like a low-profile class ring sans the gemstone.
Inside the ring, there are two small bumps for gathering data. That’s it. There is no metal exposed to your skin, despite the uninterrupted access to your body signals.
You have three color options, glossy black, white or stealth black. That last one is a matte-finish black inspired by the automotive industry. The stealth version will run for a limited quantity but higher cost.
It is perhaps the simplicity of the Ōura that lends its durability. Each Ōura undergoes scratch and drop-testing, waterproofing (50m), freezing and testing for microscopic defects.
From their Kickstarter page, “ŌURA is designed to help maximize your readiness.” It does this without asking much of you, just to put it on.
You won’t receive notifications from Ōura, not the way many wearables send them. It won’t tell you that your friend just texted you twenty times, not even once. You don’t even have to turn it on.
It knows when it’s on your finger. It knows when you are doing whatever it is you’re doing, to the extent of its programming. You just wear it.
From your heart rate, Ōura can plot your activity, accounting for sleep data. With this data, the companion app will make suggestions about changes you could make. It will even give you a readiness score.
Over time, Ōura develops an understanding of your patterns. It can tell which days you should go for it, but which you may choose to take it easy. It’s as much your virtual coach as your favorite piece of jewelry.
Ōura better than the rest?
Their Kickstarter came in six times over their goal, which was $100,000. That’s a ton of cash for such a tiny product.
No other wearable ring gives you a readiness score. In fact, no wearable of any sort does that.
On one charge, Ōura lasts three days. That’s pretty good for such a tiny battery.
All these accolades add up to a $299 price tag unless you have to have the stealth black version. That one is $499.
Pound-for-pound, that’s far and above the costs for even the most expensive VR headsets. It may be the best wearable ring, but by that metric, it’s definitely the most costly.
Once you place your order, Our send you eight sizing rings, slug versions of the real thing.
They suggest you test the size you believe fits you for a full 24 hours before deciding. Then you tell them which one it is and they send it.
They encourage you to hang on to the slugs so you can let your friends test drive the ring, duh.
This one is going on my Christmas list under stocking stuffers. I’ve been a good boy, plus you were out of new ideas for what to send me. I consider this doing you a favor. You’re welcome.