The new Oura ring,
the world’s most advanced smart ring
As an average person, you spend more than 26 years of your life sleeping. The quality of your deep, restorative sleep is massively important to your quality of life. Your body weight, overall health, physical and mental performance are all affected based on how well you sleep.
Oura is the world’s most advanced smart ring, that paired with the app helps you to reach your goals and understand your health and wellbeing through holistic and accurate sleep tracking.
The first version of Oura ring designed by Harri Koskinen, his design team and Kari Kivelä launched to consumers through Kickstarter. The campaign was a huge-success that gathered over 650,000 USD in 2015, won several industry awards including CES 2016 Best of Innovation and earned the company millions in seed funding.
Despite being loved by a committed community of early adopters who were core to the product’s evolution, the team learnt the following—
1. The first version of the ring made an impressive statement, but had a remarkable size that limited it’s use in certain contexts.
2. The battery lasted just a few days.
This is something the team set-forward to change with the new Oura ring.
One ring to rule them all
The second version of Oura ring launched for pre-orders at Slush 2017, quickly reaching nearly 20,000 preorders. The ring itself is remarkably smaller and very close to a regular ring in size in appearance and lasts up to 6-8 days with a single charge.
While the preorders poured in, the renewal of the app started early in January in tight collaboration with Oura and Nordkapp designers. The team didn’t just set out to recolor the app, but bring design thinking and processes into the product itself. Your product is the culture—thus it was important to work as one team from the get-go, and overcome challenges such as several locations by using remote tools such as Slack for realtime communications.
The new Oura app
It is a well accepted fact that the Oura ring is a work of pure innovation. However in the act of becoming a truly invisible wearable, the Oura app is at the heart of visualising all that the ring measures, making it understandable to the users. In that regard, the Oura app truly represents the community that is testimony to the promise of the product.
The Oura app seamlessly pairs to the Oura ring, which is the beginning of thousands of individual journeys till date— whether it’s being more productive at work, optimizing recovery and reaching peak performance or bringing more balance to your life.
From the day one, Oura has also had a very engaged user community which proved very valuable throughout the process, first helping the team understand better the needs and pain points and later on sourcing candidates to resonance testing for the initial directions the team came up with. Oura has also made a habit of talking to their lead users internationally on a weekly basis, keeping in touch with their wants and needs.
How does it work?
Oura measures the variability of our physiology and the stages of sleep very accurately. Sleep habits, heart rate and heart rate variability are measured directly from the finger’s palmar arteries, the most precise way to do it. The direction and intensity of body movement throughout the night are tracked with a 3D accelerometer and gyroscope and body temperature variation through 3 NTC temperature sensors, providing the most precise sleep performance technology there is.
When it comes to your health, an optimal sleep schedule makes all the difference. By tracking your long-term data regarding your sleep, recovery and activity, Oura guides you to find and maintain a bedtime that suits your daily rhythms, helping you feel energetic every day.
Once setup is done, you’ll have to charge your ring only once every 6–8 days. That’s it. Otherwise, you’ll just wear it as you would a regular ring — even sauna temperatures are not an issue.
Sleep tracking and circadian rhythm
Immediately when in use, the ring will tell you detailed insights on your sleep quality, sleep stages (deep, light, REM and awake time), sleep rhythms and long-term sleep trends. Oura will also give you actionable insights and guidance for improving your sleep quality and aligning your lifestyle to your own circadian rhythm: when we should sleep, eat, rest and move. Timing is everything.
After a few weeks, Oura starts calibrating to you; The longer you wear the ring the more accurate this will get — Your optimal bedtime is based on your personal sleep patterns and physiological responses tracked over weeks and months.
Recovery and readiness
Your daily readiness score helps you learn to identify days that are ideal for challenging yourself, and those that are better for taking it easy. This is based on multiple readings such as changes and trends in your night-time resting heart rate and heart rate variability, and continuous night-time body temperature tracking.
More than just an activity tracker
Unlike the majority of the wearables out there, Oura is not an activity tracker. Instead, Oura does give you personal activity goal that calibrates daily based on your recovery status and readiness to perform. The ring tracks your overall daily movement and exercise, steps, calorie burn, and get insights for balancing your training and recovery, and keeps track of your sedentary time so you’ll get notified when it’s time to get up and move.
All of this is collected into long term trends: by keeping track of daily, weekly and monthly trends in your sleep, recovery and activity you are able to understand the big picture of your health and wellbeing.
Naturally, with your consent, your sleep and activity details are shared with the Health app in iOS. In case you’d like to dig deeper into your data, discover trends and correlations and export your data, you can do so by using your personal Oura Cloud online dashboard. Oura’s growing database of millions of individual nights helps us to uncover previously hidden trends and patterns by machine-learning to serve individual people and help them understand themselves better.
The second-generation Oura Ring was launched at Slush 2017, with more than 15,000 pre-orders being placed during the first two months of pre-sales. Oura users come from more than 100 countries to date, around 60% of them from the USA.
The Oura ring is used by entrepreneurs, technologists, biohackers and health professionals around the world. Dr Peter H. Diamandis, whose achievements include Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, Executive Founder of the Singularity University and the Co-Founder and Vice- Chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), is a long-term user of the first-generation Oura ring.
The vast majority of people today are not getting enough quality sleep,” he said. “I love my Oura ring, it helps me understand how I’m spending one-third of my life. Sleep diagnostics, like the Oura ring, has the potential to positively impact the lives and health of billions of people.
By December 2018, Oura is now shipping in over 100 countries, enabling more people to join the Oura community. The company has raised $20 million to date. Its latest investment round was led by MSD Capital (Michael Dell) and joined by Steve Chen, the co-founder of YouTube, Kevin Lin, the co-founder of Twitch, Dave Morin, the founder of Sunrise, alongside the co-founders from Skype, Box.com, Casper, Soylent, Oak, JUMP, and Freefly. Leading athletes including Drew Brees, Apolo Anton Ohno, Shaquille O’Neil, Jimmy Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Manu Ginobili, Nick Foles, Earl Thomas III and creators such as Will Smith and Keisuke Honda (The Dreamers Fund), author Neil Strauss, author Sam Harris, and Chef David Chang also joined the latest funding round.
With products like the Oura ring and the Oura app, we can start to unlock the secrets of our nights of rest. The early Oura adopters are known to track their sleep against diets, meditation, bedtime, activity and even the amount of blue light and screen time during the day. Oura has been used as wedding bands, and in addition medical researchers, professional athletes and coaches use Oura Teams to customize their analysis and sleep optimization for themselves, and their clients and athletes.
This is a really simple set-up for an app, which feels almost too basic at first. But it’s cleverly designed so at a first glance you get the essentials, then you can learn more and more as you click through the categories and can take a deeper look at the bar charts, graphs and explanations for how you’re doing. All in all it’s a fantastic app experience and really smart to focus on doing three things extremely well.