While experimenting with different fitness testers the Oura Ring has stood out at being an excellent tool for analyzing sleep. I wore an EEG made by Sleep Sheperd Blue, a Pebble Watch running MisFit and the Oura Ring simultaneously. What I found was that the Oura Ring produced the most useful data in the most aesthetically pleasing format. The ring was also the least obtrusive to sleep with of the three devices.
Ben Greenfield has a good podcast with Oura Ring CEO and Co-Inventor Petteri Lahtela.
A few things that I appreciate about the Oura Ring:
- The company sends dummy rings in all sizes to help you figure out which finger to wear it on. This was very helpful as it is bulky for a ring. I wear mine on my left thumb and it happens to fit on four other fingers which is also convenient.
- Oura tracks REM sleep and according to my EEG comparison it looks like good data. Oura claims 72% accuracy compared to professional sleep study equipment (polysomnogram).
- Oura tracks heart rate and records the lowest heart rate for the night.
- Oura has an airplane mode so it does not need constant communication. I like that I can sync up each morning and review my charts while having coffee.
- The ring can store up to three weeks of data without syncing.
- Oura’s app is excellent in terms of usability and data display.
- The data is becoming more accessible. Once setup an Oura Cloud account will utilize We Are Curious to allow more data views. There is an Oura Cloud API and Apple HealthKit is planned to be supported this year.
Below is sleep data from Sleep Sheperd and Misfit for comparison.
Some downsides to consider before going out and spending $300 on a ring:
- This activity tracker is ideal for runners. There is nothing in place to log rides and swims. Those activities will be completely missed as there is no way to record them in the app at the time of this writing. This means the “readiness” and “activity” data screens will be missing information which is frustrating.
- The Android Oura app is missing some features that iOS already has.
- Battery life is limited to 2-3 days.
- No alarm is built-in yet, but it’s in the upcoming feature list.
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