If you’re looking for a new way to track your sleep and fitness goals, the Oura Ring is a great choice, and with this new rumoured feature, it could also act as your smartphone.
Since its launch in 2015, the Oura Ring has quickly become popular and is regarded as one of the best sleep trackers and best fitness trackers on the market today. For those new to the Oura Ring, it’s a wellness wearable which sits on your finger and tracks sleep, activity, recovery, steps, heart rate, menstrual cycle and much more, all while looking like a stylish piece of jewellery.
The latest Oura Ring is the Oura Ring Gen3 but a recent blog post has sparked rumours that the next Oura Ring (the Oura Ring 4) could offer contactless payments. Published on the Oura blog, the post announced its acquisition of Proxy and how it will “accelerate Oura’s ability to innovate and expand its market-leading smart ring technology,” using Proxy’s digital identity signal technology.
The part of the announcement which has many people excited is a statement from Oura’s CEO, Tom Hale. In the post, he’s quoted as saying “we are thrilled to collaborate with the innovative Proxy team to expand our addressable market, paving the way for new opportunities in areas such as payments, access, security, identity, and beyond, fueling future growth.”
The comment about payment has led many people to believe that the new Oura Ring will allow users to make contactless payments. Many sources have speculated that smartphone or smartwatch features like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Wallet will be accessible and stored on the Oura Ring.
While it might seem far-fetched to be able to make payments simply using your finger, Oura Ring can already be linked to your Apple Watch so it’s not completely surprising if this is the brand's next move. But what is putting me off the most about this supposed update is how it will look and if you really need it.
What many people love about the Oura Ring is its simplicity. Unlike the best Apple Watches or other fitness trackers, the Oura Ring doesn’t have a screen so it’s not constantly flashing up at you with notifications that you’d rather not be bothered by. Instead, it shows you all your metrics and data in the Oura app. Due to the lack of screen, it makes me wonder how you can make payments using it and how to tell which card you’re using if you have multiple cards stored on the ring.
Another thing that puts me off this new rumoured update is that it will shift the Oura Ring from a wellness and fitness wearable into the smartwatch territory. Having a view of your sleep, health and fitness is valuable and after Oura’s recent partnership with Lifesum, users can now connect nutrition, sleep and fitness into one small stylish device. So, why after this crucial and clever update is payment the next thing that springs to mind?
Time will tell whether the new Oura Ring will offer contactless payments and what it will look like if it does. For Oura Ring users, it will undoubtedly be convenient for some to simply wag their finger at a card machine to pay for something (and it’ll probably make users feel powerful too!)
Personally, I’m not completely sold yet and enjoy the smart features that the Oura Ring already has. I don’t think it needs these extra features that could turn it into more of a smartwatch, but it’ll be interesting to see if it happens and if people will like it or not.