Oura may be the biggest name in smart rings, but there’s competition at CES 2022

So far, Oura has been the only company that has really taken hold of the smart ring market, but at CES 2022 we saw a few ambitious competitors, including startup Movano, which plans to beat Oura both in terms of price and features.

Smart rings are notoriously hard to come by, as Logbar Ring, Amazon Echo Loop, and Ringly have proven. If none of these names sound familiar to you, it’s because none of them have struck the right balance of style, features, and price to earn a place in the hands of customers.

At CES, Movano showed off a smart ring that tracks all the same metrics as the third-generation Oura, including sleep, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, temperature, blood oxygen, steps and calories – with a lot more features in the pipeline too.

Silver Movano smart ring

(Image credit: Movano)

Movano hasn’t revealed the cost of the ring, but the company told CNET it will be cheaper than the Oura 3, which costs $299 (about £230 / AU$420). The company is currently awaiting FDA approval for its sensors, but assuming everything gets the green light, the ring should go on sale later this year.

Clinical tests

However, it doesn’t plan to stop there — Movano also wants to include blood sugar and blood pressure monitoring in a future iteration of the ring. Blood pressure changes can be estimated using the same optical sensor used to track heart rate (which is the method used by watches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3), but blood sugar is much trickier.

A lot of work is currently underway to develop a smartwatch that can monitor blood sugar changes without the need for finger prick tests. Researchers are now investigating ways to measure blood sugar non-invasively using spectroscopy, which uses lasers to identify different chemicals, and British company Nemuara Medical’s SugarBEAT monitor measures interstitial blood sugar by sucking in molecules through the skin using a gentle electric current.

Both of these examples are a far cry from being available in consumer smartwatches – let alone a device as small as a ring. Movano didn’t give a timeline, but says it’s currently conducting its own clinical trials, so we’ll be monitoring its progress closely.

One thing he definitely seems to have nailed is the design, judging by his promotional images, which show rings in three designs and four tasteful metallic colors. Things have come a long way since 2020, when Amazon tried to cram Alexa into an oversized jewel.

Comments are closed.