In early 2017, Motiv captured the imagination of the technology press by demonstrating how wearable fitness tracking could live off the wrist. In the end, though, exercise was not enough for the company, which quickly seemed to expand into things like biometric device unlocking. For Oura, on the other hand, health has been more than enough.
In fact, the company had a banner in 2020 when organizations sought an external solution in the midst of the pandemic. The startup demonstrated how its various health measurements could help with the early detection of COVID-19 and other health conditions, and some of America’s largest sports organizations happily lined up, including the NBA, WNBA, World Surf League, USA Surfing + World Surf League, Red Bull Racing , Seattle Mariners, UFC and NASCAR.
Image credit: Oura
Over the course of its life, Oura notes that it has sold “hundreds of thousands” of rings. Not earthquake numbers in the consumer electronics world, but an impressive increase for a hardware startup – especially in a market that is oversaturated with various smartwatches and fitness bands.
Oura has succeeded with the power of stuffing an impressive number of sensors into a discreet package that offers some quality insights into things like exercise and sleep. The new gen-3 ring confirms the company’s commitment to its bread and butter – not surprisingly, of course, in an era where almost all portable manufacturers are making great efforts for health and well-being.
The top-line feature here is 24/7 health tracking, thanks in part to day-to-day cardiac monitoring. Other important features include improved temperature monitoring, better sleep detection and period prediction. About the latter, the company writes:
Oura accurately predicts your next period 30 days in advance and warns you 6 days before it starts so you are always prepared. Instead of relying solely on the calendar method, Oura takes a more holistic approach to predicting your period, as your body temperature changes naturally throughout your menstrual cycle. While most tracking methods assume that your cycle is the same every month, Oura’s period prediction adjusts its predictions as your cycle changes.
The news also finds that the company is taking a much deeper dive into training content and joining Apple, Fitbit and Samsung. The library, currently listed as “coming soon”, will launch with more than 50 video and audio sessions, focused on exercise, meditation, sleep and breathing.
Image credit: Oura
“We will continue to expand that library. Both educational content – understanding the effects of things like caffeine and sleep – and also guided content,” CEO Harpreet Rai told TechCrunch. “In the beginning you will see a lot of meditation, sleep sounds. We have expanded that library enormously. You will see more and more people coming there. It is a one-stop-shop for your health.”
These videos, along with in-depth health insights, will be available through a recently launched $ 6 / month Oura membership service.
“If you look at Peloton, Tonal, Tempo, Hydro and all your related fitness, it’s hardware plus subscription,” says Rai. “You’ve also seen wearables go that way. Do I think over time we can go full subscription model? There may be different ways to fund this thing – I think you can. We have not ruled it out. But We have seen more consumers benefit from this because of the total cost of ownership. “
The ring will continue to add new features in the future, including SpO2 blood oxygen sensing, which is set to arrive at some point next year. The ring itself costs $ 300 and can be pre-ordered now. It will begin shipping in mid-November.