This Kickstarter campaign could be one of the most exciting wearable product announcements in quite a while. The OURA ring has been introduced to help you get more rest and to perform better by analyzing your sleep and the intensity of your activity levels.
There is a plethora of activity tracking wearables on the market at present but where all of them fail is in sleep tracking. In fact, there hasn’t been a consumer ready wearable that provides accurate sleep data since the demise of Zeo over two years ago but the OURA could change this.
According to the Kickstarter page the ring continuously measures three data points: the finger’s pulse waveform, the time between heartbeats (also known as heart rate variability) and the body’s temperature. From these data points it calculates heart rate, respiration rate and other parameters needed to accurately analyze sleep in order to create the wearer’s sleep profile including the different stages of sleep such as deep sleep, REM sleep and light sleep, and periods of wakefulness during the night. While the wearer is awake it monitors the duration and intensity of activity and the time spent sitting.
Data is fed into an app which looks to identify patterns between sleep quality and daily activities. Depending on your sleep quality the app will determine your readiness to perform by adjusting the intensity and duration of the wearer’s activity on that day.
How accurate pulse waveform is to determine sleep quality remains I don’t know. The Zeo headband analyzed EEG (brainwave) data which is a common measure in medical sleep analysis but research has shown that pulse waveform changes through sleep and is a marker of brain activity.
OURA is also partnering with personal data platform, We Are Curious (CEO of We Are Curious and co-founder of 23andMe, Linda Avey we interviewed some time ago) so OURA users can share their data with sleep researchers from around the world.
One issue the OURA ring may face is the wearability factor. The imagery and messaging in the Kickstarter campaign show it’s targeted to both male and female but, other than a wedding ring, the majority of males don’t usually wear them. That said, some may use it purely for the sleep data and only wear it while in bed. I would.
One thing is certain though, the OURA ring will successfully go well beyond its target Kickstarter goal of $100,000. At the time of writing it’s over $200,000 with 34 days to go.