Not to be too geeky, but is this wearable a ring to rule them all? Maybe not, but it’s pretty cool! This Finnish based startup has created a ring that is actually a “wellness computer” to help users perform and sleep better. We spoke with ŌURA’s CTO & Head of Design, Kari Kivelä, who told us more.
Describe your company ŌURA.
ŌURA is a Finnish company that was founded in 2013. We’re an experienced team of 17 people, with diverse backgrounds in health & wellness, medtech, ICT, jewelry design, consumer electronics and software, including over 20 years of experience in creating algorithms for the world’s leading heart rate monitors and activity trackers. We’re currently based in Finland and San Francisco.
What was your inspiration behind creating ŌURA?
ŌURA was inspired by our own need to stay balanced in the middle of hectic work and family lives. We wanted to find a way to understand what we could do to improve recovery from the mental and physical load of everyday life. We tried using many products available in the marketplace for all this, and while they each had some excellent functionalities, none of them gave satisfactory answers to our questions – and that’s how ŌURA was born.
Tell us about the ŌURA ring.
ŌURA is a wellness ring and app, designed to help users get more restful sleep and perform better. The ring is actually a stand-alone computer which monitors different biosignals while users sleep; their pulse waveform, the exact time between their heartbeats and their body temperature. It also monitors user’s daily movement. The ring is made of scratch proof ceramics, and is available in three different finishes—glossy/stealth black and glossy white.
The data collected by the ring is visualized and transformed into actionable guidance by the ŌURA App. The app provides detailed information about user’s sleep cycles, activity and their readiness to perform. The idea is to help the user learn how to balance out the need for activity and rest, and adjust daytime habits for better performance and better sleep.
How do you differentiate yourself from existing/potential players in the wearable tech market?
One of the key differentiators is obviously the form factor. In a market where the wrist dominates, an unobtrusive, carefully designed ring stands out. Design has been an important part of the whole process of creating the ŌURA ring. Our goal was to create something simple and beautiful that people would want to wear even without all the technology that’s hidden inside.
In addition to the design, what makes ŌURA unique is its holistic approach to improving sleep. Sleep isn’t just the number of hours users spend asleep – that’s just the beginning. The quality of sleep and what users do when they’re awake is just as important. With ŌURA we want to help people to learn how to balance out activity and rest, and become aware of the importance of recovery. Their body is not ready for 10,000 steps every day, and on some days it has capacity for much more than that. Learning when to push their limits and when to take it easy is key.
What has been one of the most challenging parts of getting started? How did you overcome this and what did you learn?
Coming up with a way to fit so much advanced technology and intelligence in such a small format doesn’t happen overnight, and the entire design and manufacturing process has been an incredibly rewarding learning experience for us in many ways. When you’re doing something no one has ever done before, there’s bound to be a bit of trial and error. Luckily we have an experienced team and extremely talented partners who have proven again and again that there’s a solution for everything.
Where can we buy the ŌURA ring and what is the cost?
What can we expect next from ŌURA? Do you have any specific ideas about future products or segments you would like to target?
We have a lot of exciting ideas and plans for the future. We’ve just released the first version of the ŌURA app for iOS, and right now we’re focusing on developing its functionalities. The full version of the Android app is also scheduled for release in the coming months. We’ve just started getting the very first rings delivered to our wonderful community of Kickstarter backers and other early supporters. We can’t wait to start learning from their feedback.
Find out more about ŌURA by visiting their website here and watching the video below.
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