Oura Ring Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Sensor Laden Ring

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A team of developers from Oulu, Finland have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for an activity-tracking ring capable of tracking activity levels, sleep, and a number of lifestyle metrics. The campaign launched on Tuesday and has already raised $168,000 from 687 backers, surpassing its initial goal of $100,000 in under 24 hours. The campaign got an early boost by being selected as a Kickstarter Staff Pick just 14 hours into its campaign, which boosted its visibility on the site considerably.

The technology behind the Oura ring is impressive compared to larger wrist-worn tracker. By day, the ring monitors the number of steps taken, total distance walked, amount of time spent sitting, and total daily caloric burn. When users fall asleep, the ring detects this change, and begins tracking heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, and movement, using this information to graph light, deep, and REM sleep cycles throughout the night. The ring runs on a battery that will reportedly go three days in between charges, and takes only 30-60 minutes to fully recharge.

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All of the information captured by the Oura ring is wirelessly transferred to a synced app that is designed to help users understand the impact their sleep cycle and lifestyle choices have on their overall alertness. The app calculates a readiness score that refills based on the amount and quality of sleep achieved at night, and then depletes as energy is used during the day. The designers explain, “Variance in your resting heart rate as well as changes in your autonomic nervous system reactions over the time indicate how well your body and mind recharge from the challenges of daily life.”

The app also learns each user’s daily activity patterns and then makes recommendations throughout the day of ways to improve overall readiness and performance. These recommendations include suggested bed times, exercise recommendations including ideal time of day and intensity targets, and periodic suggestions that users take it easy for a day or two.

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From a materials perspective, the ring is ceramic with a gloss finish. The design itself is unremarkable, and on smaller hands it would be awkwardly large. Because it is not obvious that it is an activity tracker, it could easily be mistaken for a large, rather unattractive ring. For as many sensors as the team packed into the device, it’s understandable that it needs to be as big as it is. What the ring lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in ruggedness, as it is both scratchproof and waterproof.

Pricing on the ring is far higher than comparable wrist-worn activity trackers. The team is asking $299 for their basic model, and $399 for their stealth black model, which comes with no extra features other than an enhanced paint job. Basic units are pre-selling on Kickstarter for $229.


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