Wednesday, June 12, 2024

I tried the must-have accessory for your smart ring

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A person putting an OSleeve cover in a pouch.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Smart rings are a considerable investment and worth protecting on your finger. When Samsung releases the Galaxy Ring, its first smart ring, at some point in the near future, there’s a good chance smart jewelry will gain more attention than ever before — and more people than ever will look for a way to keep it safe.

Contents

  • Why cover your smart ring?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Only for Oura?
  • How much does it cost?

I’ve been trying out the OSleeve, a cover for the Oura Ring, and it gives us a good insight into what may become the top accessory for smart rings later on this year.

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Why cover your smart ring?

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The OSleeve performs an important service that first-time smart ring wearers may not immediately consider. If you do things like lift weights, work with delicate surfaces, or grip abrasive or hard surfaces in your job or leisure time, the surface of your smart ring is going to pick up tiny scratches and scuffs, regardless of how tough the material is. Putting it in a protective cover keeps it looking its best.

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I’ve been sent two different OSleeve covers to try out: one in Arctic White and the other in a transparent Luxe Clear finish. They arrived in a small, white pouch to keep them safe. Each is made from soft, flexible, but grippy silicone that wraps around the outer part of your smart ring and over the sides. It leaves the underneath open, so there’s no need to worry about it covering the sensors.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Luxe Clear version has a small OSleeve logo on it, but the Arctic White version is free from any markings. They’re easy to stretch over the Oura Ring, and although it’s initially difficult to get them precisely centered, I’ve found they work themselves into place after a short time anyway. Once on, it forms a barrier between the Oura Ring and any surface it comes into contact with, whether that’s a barbell bar, a rock face, or a car’s paintwork.

Is it comfortable?

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The OSleeve cover looks quite big when you first get it, and I was concerned it would make wearing my Oura Ring uncomfortable. It does add a few millimeters to the width of the ring, and you do notice it between your fingers the first few times you wear it. However, if you’re already used to wearing the Oura Ring — and therefore the feeling of a smart ring on your finger — it does disappear after a short while.

It’s very grippy, though, and the “stickiness” is a bit of a distraction when you wear it continuously. I’ve found it “pulls” when I’m doing normal tasks, and if your smart ring is loose on your finger, it will move around more than usual. But in some circumstances, I can see the extra grip being an advantage, such It also turns around on your finger far more than usual, and the surface can feel more tacky after it gets wet. However, I found this more with the transparent version and you’ll only notice this if you wear it all the time, and I don’t think that’s the best way to use the OSleeve.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The sleeves are well made but they aren’t especially attractive despite coming in different colors, and I wouldn’t use them to either try to enhance or alter the style of the Oura Ring in the way we do with a case for our phone. Instead, covering the smart ring with the OSleeve when it’s necessary seems to be the way to go. It means the ring is protected when required, and it’s very good at this, as the surface is completely covered. But at all other times, it can be admired unadorned.

Only for Oura?

I’ve been using the OSleeve on an Oura Ring, but does it fit other smart rings, and what about future products? Digital Trends asked Rachel Kelly, co-founder and head of product at OSleeve, about the company’s plans.

“The OSleeve has been custom-engineered to fit the Oura ring and is also compatible with Ultrahuman smart rings,” she told us via email. “We will be verifying and refining the fit for the Muse RingOne and other devices as time progresses. The Samsung Galaxy Ring is another important player in the market, and we have reached out to Samsung to explore a potential partnership.”

But it’s not just different versions for different rings OSleeve wants to introduce, as Kelly explained:

“While the OSleeve may appear to be a simple protector, significant engineering has gone into ensuring the best fit. We’re consistently exploring novel materials and textile science to enhance durability, with new variants set to hit the market later this year. We have an exciting product development roadmap to continue innovating as new smart ring products are launched and our community’s needs evolve. Having a supportive community helps us re-invest in innovation to build more delightful products.”

How much does it cost?

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

How much does this thin, light piece of circular silicone cost? It’s not cheap. OSleeve sells each one for $35, or about the same as we’d expect to pay for an average smartphone case, regardless of the color you pick. The size of OSleeve you need is based on the size of your smart ring, so it’s easy to select which is the right one for you, and the price doesn’t vary either. My Oura Ring is a size 11, and the medium OSleeve is very snug but not impossible to put on or remove. If you want to keep your Oura Ring looking its best, the OSleeve is a great way to do so.

OSleeve is not the only company making covers for smart rings. For example, there are other options available through Amazon. Oura supplies one with its Equinox bundle, and RingConn offers a transparent silicone cover as an official accessory. Whether one is worth buying depends on whether the smart ring ever gets in harm’s way on your finger or if you want to make sure it remains scratch-free forever. Either way, if smart rings take off in a big way this year, a ring cover may end up being another one of those necessary accessory purchases we make to protect our expensive tech investment.

The OSleeve is available for purchase now.

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