Smart watches are having a moment, but smart rings might be next.
Recently I’ve been wearing something called the Oura Ring. It tracks my sleep, activity and more – all to let me know how prepared I am to take on the day.
Yes, it pretty much predicts how you’ll feel each day.
The $300 ring is the anti-smart watch. There is no screen, no vibrations and you almost forget it’s there.
But it is – silently using several sensors to measure everything from your sleep, to your heart rate and even your blood oxygen level.
The process all starts with a sizing kit.
Once you order the ring, Oura sends you a sizing kit in the mail with plastic rings in bunch of different sizes.
You’re supposed to wear a fake ring for 24 hours to help you figure out which size to order. When in doubt, Oura recommends going a size smaller so it’s snugger against your skin and hence, better measurements.
However, you want to choose wisely because you can only exchange the real ring once. And after that, you can’t return it. So choose wisely.
Wearing the Oura Ring is a very Zen experience. That’s not only because there’s nothing distracting you from your day, but also because the app aims to make you better understand the link between your body and mind.
The ring tracks what you do and gives you three daily scores out of 100.
They are Activity, Sleep and Readiness, which combines 20 different signals including sleep, activity, body temperature and heart rate variability.
You can also see the specifics which factor into each score. It’s information overload, but it’s also kind of fun to know every single little detail about the inner workings of your body.
You can also see how you’re trending from day to week to month.
For instance, is your temperature going up just slightly each day? Might want to watch that.
Is your sleep consistently terrible? Might want to work on that.
My favorite aspect is how you can add tags to your day to see how what you do affects your scores. There are tags for all kinds of things, from medication to diarrhea, hangover to hike.
I couldn’t figure out how to add a custom tag, so I’m not sure if you can do that.
The Oura Ring’s battery lasts several days, and you want to wear it to bed. The best time to recharge is while you’re making dinner or taking a shower.
The downside: you might become obsessed with the stats this ring generates.
Wake up to a bad readiness score and it might translate into a bad day.
Also, you might wonder if the variations in your numbers are normal or indicate an issue. You might become your own daily doctor with all the information and insight this little ring gleans.
Oura Ring is best if you don’t need real time activity stats. It will measure your exercise, but it’s not like a smart watch where you’re monitoring the workout zone you’re in, the distance you’ve gone or how many calories you’ve burned.
I really like how the Oura Ring App gives you actionable insights into your metrics. Currently, the ring comes with a 6-month free membership trial. After that, it’s $6 a month to unlock all that the App has to offer. The ring will still function without a membership, the insights won’t be as great.
Come November 1, Oura is changing the free trial to a single month.
Bottom line: Oura Ring is a less invasive way to track your sleep and overall well-being.