The best smart rings 2022: health tracking from your finger

The best smart rings 2022: health tracking from your finger

As technology shrinks in size and increases in power, making smart rings is becoming less and less of a challenge. They’ve not hit the mainstream just yet but it is only a matter of time. In this article we outline our pick of the best options that are out there – devices to get you off to a good wearable start in 2022.

Large wearable brands are also working on smart rings

Why get a smart ring?

Research suggests that we check our phone every six and a half minutes and much of this results from notifications that do not really interest us or can wait for us to attend to them later. With your cellular device tucked away in your pocket or bag, you can use a piece of jewelry to attend to only those notifications that deserve your attention. The rest can wait.

But potential use of smart rings goes further. Because your fingers have easy-to-sense arteries, some of these devices are also able to gather precise data on your body’s vital signals. They do this with sensors such as a 3d accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate blood oxygen sensor and more.

Then there are smart rings that can be used to open a door lock or a smartphone or even send SOS messages. Such an accessory can be an easier option to use for some than a smartwatch. It is all a matter of preference. Some people are a fan of the concept, others are very much against it and prefer something sitting on their wrist.

Our pick of the top connected rings for 2022

Indistinguishable from regular jewellery in looks, smart rings are becoming more popular. This is our pick of the best devices that you can purchase today. They combine fashion and technology into some seriously smart wearables.

1. Ōura: The best smart ring

Image source: Oura

The award winning Ōura puts lots of emphasis on sleep. With no buttons to push, it automatically detects and analyzes the quality of your nightly rest and recovery by measuring your heart rate, pulse wave form, respiration rate, body temperature, movement and more.

Image source: Oura

In the iOS or Android mobile app you will get information on deep sleep, REM sleep, light sleep, and periods of wakefulness, as well as a  ‘Readiness Score’. This is displayed as a percentage, and tells you whether you need to adjust the intensity and duration of your day’s activities. It can also uncover actionable insights for changes to your daily activities that can help you sleep better.

While you are awake, Ōura automatically measures all your physical activity and time spent sitting. The ring counts your daily steps and total distance traveled. It also estimates the calories burned per day.

The second generation ring addressed one of the biggest customer complaints. At less than half the size of its predecessor, it is much slimmer whilst being just as durable as the previous generation.

The third generation was launched in October 2021. That one brings additional tracking features such as all-day heart rate, better temperature and sleep tracking, along with blood oxygen measurements. These updates make it a better 24/7 activity and health tracker. The bad news is that some of these features are not available yet – but they will be in the coming months.

The other bad news is that to access all these features you will need to pay $5.99 for a monthly subscription. This is in addition to the price of the hardware which typically runs at $299. That’s quite a lot to pay for a smart ring. We can’t help but feel that Oura has scored an own goal with this new concept – time will tell whether the decision was a good one.

2. Wellue O2Ring: keep an eye on your SpO2 with medical-grade accuracy

Image source: Wellue

This one is slightly different from other options on this list. The Wellue O2Ring predominantly does one main thing and it does it with medical grade accuracy – it tracks your blood oxygen. In fact, it is FDA approved for this sort of thing. Other stats that you’ll get are heart rate and body movement.

The device has a built-in vibration motor that kicks into gear when it sees something out of whack. You’ll get an alert if your blood oxygen level or heart rate are outside of threshold you preset on the smartphone app.

There’s also the option of installing PC software in addition to the smartphone app. The software allows you to view and print a very detailed sleep report, which can also be exported as PDF or CSV files.

It is worth noting the WellueO2 Ring is slightly more expensive than a typical fingertip pulse oximeter. But if you need overnight monitoring with alarms and long term tracking then it is probably the best option out there. For some, it might become their most important piece of jewelry.

3. K Ring: for those that like to make payments on the go

Image source: K Wearables

Make no mistake – the future is digital. One day technological progress might make your wallet a relic of the past.

K Wearables believes that we shouldn’t have to carry around so much stuff just to get through the day – such as cash, payment cards, loyalty cards, passes, ID card, tickets and keys. To this end it developed a ring which dishes up all the features and benefits of an NFC chip.

You can use K Ring to make payments anywhere in the world that displays the contactless MasterCard payment symbol – this includes coffee shops, public transport, supermarkets and pub chains. The device works all by itself, so you don’t need to pair it with mobile devices to make a payment. You’ll also be happy to know that charging is not required.

4. Helios Smart Ring: calculates your vitamin D absorption

Helios wants to help you monitor the amount of sunlight you’re getting. There is a UV index sensor and an ambient light sensor onboard, that continuously track the strength of the sun and calculate your vitamin D absorption.

Image source: E-senses

Over a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient because of the indoor lifestyle and sun avoidance behavior. Your body must needs this to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. You also need vitamin D for other important body functions. Some medical studies even show there could be a link between vitamin D deficiency and greater incidence or severity of Covid-19.

With Helios Smart Ring, you’ll get motivated to consume vitamin D safely from the sun. Plus the sunlight coach provides sun protection, so you’ll never get sunburned again. The device retails for just over $150 and there are various colors to choose from.

5. ORII: make telephone calls with your finger

Image source: ORII

The ORII Voice Powered Smart Ring turns your finger into a smartphone. No, its not a misprint, the ring actually enables you to make calls, send texts, create reminders and calendar appointments simply by tapping on your ear!

ORII receives audio when paired to your smartphone through Bluetooth. When a call comes in, the ring transmits the audio through your finger. When you press your fingertip to your ear, you can hear the voice thanks to bone conduction technology. The dual microphones enable your voice to be heard. With access to Siri and Google Assistant, the ring can also handle many daily tasks.

The device is lightweight and comfortable to wear, splash-proof, and features anodized aluminum. It’s not built for chatterboxes though, and is designed more for short calls and texts on the go. Around an hour of continuous listening time should be enough to get you through the day.

6. Sleepon Go2Sleep

This is another device that works predominantly while you sleep. The wearable slips on your finger where it taps into capillaries to provide more accurate data that you would get from your typical wrist worn wearable.

Image source: Go2Sleep

In the morning you get info such as your heart rate, blood oxygen and details sleep statistics. Rather usefully, the device will also alert you via a vibration if it spots a drop in blood oxygen levels. Potential causes of this can be snoring or posture changes.

The app accompanying the smart ring will also spit out insights. These help to explain reasons for poor sleep and offer a suggestions on how to improve.

Bottom line: The new kid on the block, Got2Sleep is one of the best options for detailed sleep tracking statistics. It also presents itself as a lower-cost alternative to the Oura ring.

Big wearable brands are also working on a smart rings

We are yet to see a major wearable brand enter the smart ring market. But when they do this will shake things up and top the list of the best options. It’s no secret that some wearable brands have been looking at the possibility. A Fitbit, Apple, Garmin or Samsung smart ring would blow away the competition.

The first of these actually has a US patent to their name titled “Ring for optically measuring biometric data”. So Fitbit is definitely, at least, considering the idea.

According to the paperwork, the device would emit light at a red wavelength of 660 nm and an infrared wavelength of 940 nm. It would then calculate the difference in absorption of the emitted light at the red wavelength and the emitted light at the infrared wavelength.

This can be used to determine your blood oxygen levels as well as Sleep Apnea. Others potential uses include blood pressure, glucose level, lipid concentration, hematocrit level, or carboxyhemoglobin level.

Apple is also researching this area and it, too, has at least one patent to its name. An interesting one includes a rough sketch of what an “iRing” is supposed to look like “based in reality.”

The Apple text accompanying the filing describes the ring as follows:

The original submission “Devices, methods, and user interfaces for a wearable electronic ring computing device” can be viewed on the US Patent & Trademark Office.

The narrative describes a device comprising of a microphone for voice commands, a finger-ring mounted touchscreen, a speaker and a sensor for writing or character recognition. The thing would also provide haptic feedback. The rechargeable ring is intended to work in tandem with a host of other devices, whether a smartphone, apple TV or light dimmer.

In addition to its other functions, the iRing could also be used as an alternative to a computer mouse. It is possible that the device could carry biometric sensors such as a heart rate monitor or accelerometer as seen within the Apple Watch and other fitness wearables.

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