While the innovation curve on smartphones today takes a horizontal shape, it is not the case with wearables. Smartwatches back then could just measure your steps, but you can now measure health vitals like ECG and blood pressure. If that wasn’t enough, the new innovation is a new product line in wearables – called smart rings. In this article, let us see what smart rings are, how they work, and the best smart rings you can buy in 2022.
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Understanding the Smart Rings
In 2020, we all know how the pandemic affected the economy, and no industry was spared. Leaders of the sports leagues were struck with a dilemma of closing down games or cautiously finishing the season and getting done with it. During that time, NBA took a distinctive approach as they bought 2000 smart rings to monitor and manage the risk of COVID -19 in their bio bubbles.
The Oura Ring was given to players to understand if they could pose a symptomatic risk. While there is not a lot of data to suggest if this campaign was successful, and some media outlets even disproved the fact that it can help detect COVID symptoms – this was the first time that smart rings found their limelight in the crowded tech world. And ever since then, there has been a buzz, skepticism, and backlash regarding the same.
What Are Smart Rings?
Smart Rings look just like your ordinary metallic ring. But as the name says, there is much more than you can do using these. Whether it gives smartwatches a run for the money is quite debatable. But, as we’ve seen with a few manufacturers, smart rings can be made highly functional with the right intent.
Smart rings, like smartwatches, are companion devices to your smartphone and are never standalone devices. Currently, smart rings focus mostly on providing health-related features. So primarily, we can use this as a fitness tracker.
Most smart rings seem to offer a plethora of fitness and health signaling services – the specifics of which will be covered in the later stages of the article. Some smart rings also can buzz you when a new notification arrives on your phone.
How Do Smart Rings Work?
Smart Rings involve different technologies, including chips, sensors, and batteries. All of it is packed into a tiny ring shape. A typical smart ring may equip motion sensors, NFC chip, microcontroller, Bluetooth chip, battery, and light indicator.
There are a variety of sensors you’ll find on a smart ring- heart rate (optical or infrared), 3-axis accelerometer for tracking walking or running, gyroscope for detecting movement, SpO2 sensor for tracking blood oxygen, temperature sensor to track skin temperature, and more.
However, not all smart rings will have all the features. So make sure the ring you’re buying has features you’re looking forward to and meets your purpose. Also, remember that size can be a problem when buying smart rings online.
Best Smart Rings to Buy in 2022
A simple Google search for smart rings can get you access to a bunch of it, but only some are legitimate and can offer something meaningful to the end user. And given that smart rings are not mass manufactured yet, most of these are not seen on popular retailers like Flipkart or Amazon.
Filtering through the junk and finding the websites where they are available is quite a hassle, so that is why we have compiled this list of five smart rings that you can either buy or pre-order. Go through the easy-to-read pointers to quickly understand what each smart ring offers.
1. Oura Ring Generation 3
The Oura smart ring primarily measures your heart rate, sleep data, and activity throughout the day. The ring gives you three different scores to understand your health-related data – the sleep, activity, and readiness data.
Oura Ring Gen 3 Key Features:
- Heart rate data claimed to be 99.6 % accurate, with 24 X 7 monitoring.
- Comes with seven precision temperature sensors, as body temperature is key to understanding body signals.
- The temperature sensors also provide data that can help women track their periods.
- Automatic rest (sleep, nap) detection.
- Guided wellness sessions and educational content to improve mental well-being.
- 4 – 7 days of claimed battery life.
- Buyers can test and choose a custom fit to ensure maximum comfort.
Buy Link: Oura Generation – 3
2. Ultrahuman Ring
Ultrahuman is an Indian startup that made quite some headlines with its “cyborg” patch. This device could monitor your blood sugar throughout the day. Their second product is a ring, which is touted to give users an “ultrahuman” power.
Ultrahuman Smart Ring Key Features:
- Comes with three main sensors – the PPG heart rate, temperature, and motion sensor.
- Provides detailed sleep tracking data by segregating sleep data into multiple stages.
- Built with ‘fighter jet’ titanium and a tungsten carbide coating for long-lasting durability. Interestingly, this can aid activities like weight lifting, which might cause a sore finger.
- You can also combine functionality by connecting it to the Ultrahuman patch.
- It also comes with a metabolism tracker that tells users how the food they eat impacts their fitness.
- Sadly, misses out on a blood oxygen sensor.
- Claimed battery life of 4-6 days.
- Designed for ‘hypoallergenic’ contact – which means that the ring is suitable for long-term skin contact and comfort.
Pre-order Link: Ultrahuman Ring. (shipping starts Sep 22)
3. Motiv Smart Ring
Motiv is a US-based personal technology brand focused on making devices designed to “seamlessly fit into people’s lives,” – as mentioned in the company’s motto. Here’s what you need to know about their smart ring.
Motiv Smart Ring Key Features:
- 24 X7 fitness monitor that automatically detects activities.
- Data can be easily synced and integrated into Apple Health and Google Fit.
- Accurate sleep tracker that can provide meaningful insights into your sleep data.
- Provides data related to distance covered, activity intensity, and calories burned.
- Waterproof to 165 feet.
- 3-day battery life; with a quick 90-minute charge.
- Designed with lightweight and robust titanium.
- Available in seven different ring sizes.
Buy Link: Motiv Ring
4. Movano Ring
The smart ring developed by Movano is their first offering in the wearable space. Like other smart rings, Movano is mainly focused on providing accurate sleep, heart rate, and body temperature data. While the product is not live yet, the company has only stated what it aspires to offer in a smart ring. You can check out the product website to know more.
If you are interested in buying the Movano Ring, you can check the contact us page to get in touch with their team and understand more information.
5. Circular Ring
Circular is another name making waves in the smart ring ecosystem. Their debut offering, called the Circular Rings, is a fully functional health tracker, and here’s more about what it does.
Circular Smart Ring Key Features:
- Comes with an accurate blood oxygen tracker – which the Ultrahuman Ring missed out on.
- The heart rate sensor not only measures the heart rate but can also provide heart rate variability data.
- Also comes with temperature sensors to evaluate how your body responds to the environment.
- The ring provides the Vo2 max data, representing the maximum oxygen flow the body can consume during an effort. This is then used to evaluate physical performance.
- It is designed with a clinical-grade bio-compatible inner material for a hypoallergenic fit.
- An interesting feature is the non-invasive smart alarm clock that helps you wake up and start your day in a calm and optimal way by waking you up in a light sleep stage.
Buy Link: Circular Ring
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The Need for Smart Rings: Peak Wearable Tech?
Every new piece of technology in its baby steps gets quite some backlash. Take a look at watches. At times it feels like smart watches themselves are an overkill tech. Why would you need a smartwatch in the first place? What can you achieve in those three seconds you save from not pulling your smartphone from your pocket? Do you need a smartwatch actually to get fit, or do you just need to get rid of laziness?
As commonly as these thoughts occur, it is safe to say that they were short-lived. It is short-lived because once you do use a smartwatch for extended periods of time, you are subconsciously sucked into a whole new tech ecosystem.
It is much more convenient to reply to messages quickly without using your phone. Or you can consider my personal favorite feature – the GPS navigation; there is no going back once you can see routes on your wrist while walking or riding. And because you have the essentials sorted, many users who I personally know observe a reduction in their phone screen times.
If we were to talk about health features, they’re just game-changing, and the interface smartwatches offer for fitness tracking can act as a huge motivating factor to actually work out.
We did beat around the bush to get our point through – which is yes, smart rings might seem like an overkill tech too, but they have the potential to evolve over time to be a part of the mainstream tech. For one, it is much more compact and less heavy and can be the lightest piece of tech that you can wear around.
Secondly, there are many users who just do not want another screen in their vicinity, and a smart ring can offer great functionality without a screen.
Health tracking features are not a mere addition to smart rings. But, they are the reason for the existence of a smart ring. There have been many studies and experiments that state that data measured on a finger is significantly more accurate than data measured on a wrist.
For example, a simple fact that is worth knowing is that your fingers produce a stronger pulse than the ones found on your wrist. This holds for blood oxygen measurement too. This is a huge deal, and given how companies are already leveraging this information and building tech around it already – hold on to your hats to see some ground-breaking innovations sooner than ever.
This is all you need to know about smart rings and the best ones you can buy in 2022. Wearable tech is definitely in its early stages, and picking the right devices is quite difficult. Hence, this is why WearablesToUse exists, so you can understand and consider all the necessary metrics before buying a device. Stay tuned for more such interesting content related to wearables.