Oura wasn’t the first smart ring on the market, but over its lifetime, the device has had surprisingly little competition. In general, it is difficult for consumer hardware companies to find a foothold beyond the wrist. While the brand’s relative success has undoubtedly raised hopes that the fitness bracelet/smartwatch isn’t necessarily the end of it for the category.
CES was never a big show for wearables, but the event that gave us our first glimpse of what appeared to be the first viable smart ring delivered two more this year. There is Movano, which we highlighted at the end of the year. The company said it is shooting for a second-half release. It is also remarkable Circular. The French startup offered a preview – but not much else – at the show.
Today, the company announced that its holder ring will open for pre-order on February 27, priced at $259. That’s $50 less than the latest Oura (generation 3), and the Circular isn’t out yet. discussing a monthly subscription plan for its promise of “no […] just raw data, but personal insights.” Let’s face it – everyone seems to be on a steady march in that direction these days, regardless.
The company has a long deadline for the actual delivery of the product – between April and June. To some extent, this is to be expected for a relatively young and small company, particularly as we are facing ongoing chip and supply chain constraints.
The ring has a number of different sensors for things like heart and breathing rates and body temperature. From this point of view at least, we are operating in Oura’s general territory, creating actionable insights based on various vital signs in an attempt to “democratize personal health” as per the marketing material. This is combined with a “personal assistant” in the app. The battery should last up to four days and charges in about 45 minutes.
Apparently, the consumer is the first step for a hardware startup that is still small. In the future, the company seeks to reach the B2C market through insurance and healthcare companies. That’s probably where the real money is for a product like this, but it’s a longer lane with more regulatory bureaucracy.
The ring is launching in Europe (France, Germany, Italy and the UK), along with the US, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.