Chris (my lovely wife) decided I need an activity tracker. I always do what she wants. She read about it in a book by Peter Diamandis, the futurist.
She ordered it without asking me if I was even interested. I’m glad she did. It’s really cool. A sizing kit came in the mail. You find your fit and complete the order online. The Oura ring (https://ouraring.com/) and custom charger arrived the following week.
I’ve had a couple of “Smart Watch” devices in the past. I drowned both of them. They weren’t as water-resistant as advertised, I guess. Pebble was their name. They were pretty basic as smart devices go but I wanted to learn about them.
I didn’t replace the second one. I always have my smartphone to tell time. A notification is just as noticeable on the phone in my pocket as a notification on my wrist. The watch was just an extra piece of technology that needed charging.
This Oura ring is something different. It’s a lot smarter than the watches I had even though it doesn’t tell time. It’s jam-packed with sensors. There are two infra-red LED emitters and an IR detector that samples your heart rate 250 times per second. There are 3 temperature sensors, an accelerometer, a gyroscopic sensor, memory, and a battery, all in a ring that fits on your finger!
The collected data is transferred to the Oura app installed on the phone via Bluetooth. The ring’s internal memory can hold up to six weeks of data. You can put the ring in Airplane Mode to save battery and some people don’t like the idea of RF always on.
Oura summarizes your health data into three meaningful scores that help you harness your body’s potential every day.
Oura tracks key signals from your body while you sleep, delivering critical insights through the app to help you harness your body’s potential every day. It also tracks daily steps and activity during the day.
Understanding your health requires discipline, patience, and perspective. Oura maps your health data over the course of your use, focusing on long-term insights and patterns so you can build healthy practices—every day and over time. Information from the app could even alert you to infections or other serious health concerns. In fact, you can volunteer your data to university studies for analysis in predicting Covid-19. I joined a study run by UCSF for just that.
The app is full of charts and graphs about your sleep, your readiness, and your waking activities. It gives you a score you can track over time. It also suggests modifications in your activity to maximize your health. It’s a true data junkies delight!
You may have heard that staying healthy requires eight hours of sleep and 10,000 steps a day. But what’s right for you? And how do your habits shape your health? Oura helps you to understand and define your health on your terms, based on your personal data.
$350 sounds like a lot of money for an activity tracker but it is in line with a good Fitbit and cheaper than an Apple Watch. Granted, you can’t make phone calls on it and it doesn’t have fall detection but for me, it’s a great tracker for my activities.