Thursday, April 18, 2024

Here’s how you can try new Oura Ring features before anyone else

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A person holding the Oura Ring 3rd generation Horizon and Heritage model.Oura Ring Heritage (left) and Oura Ring Horizon Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Oura is launching a new feature in its iOS app called Oura Labs, and it will let wearers of the smart ring try out new and forthcoming features ahead of the final release. Additionally, users can also participate in research that will help better understand health and wellness using data gained from the wearable.

The first Oura Labs feature is Symptom Radar. It monitors for significant changes to key metrics — including resting heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), respiratory rate, and body temperature — and will advise when it notices alterations that warn of extra strain. One of the Oura Ring’s key daily metrics is Readiness — which also helps you understand recovery — and that’s where you’ll spot a notification from Symptom Radar if it sees you’re under more strain than usual.

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Oura points out that Symptom Radar shouldn’t be considered a diagnostic tool. It’s not going to tell you what to do, but the idea is that you can see if the way you personally feel matches up to the Symptom Radar and Readiness Score’s alert and act accordingly. If you decide to participate in testing out the Symptom Radar, it will replace the current Rest Mode feature, which is manually activated if you’d rather take a break from tracking and working to reach goals.

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More features to come

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

In the future, Oura Labs may provide the opportunity to take part in focus groups and surveys, where data and feedback may inform studies and research performed by the company’s partners. Other beta features are also likely to be added to Oura Labs. It’s entirely voluntary, so if the idea of trying beta features or assisting with research doesn’t appeal, you don’t have to opt-in to Oura Labs at all. Oura has trialed various features with a limited number of people in the past, including its advanced sleep staging algorithm, and a caffeine monitoring system too.

The Oura Ring is our current recommended smart ring, and it has managed to fend off several recently introduced competitors — including the Circular Ring Slim and the Movano Evie smart ring. It may see additional competition from Samsung and the Galaxy Ring soon, though, and adding new features and ensuring wearers get the most from their monthly subscription to the platform will be essential if it’s to remain the smart ring to buy.

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