[Transcript] – Could This New Ring Be The Final Frontier In Self Quantification, Biohacking, Sleep Tracking, HRV, Respiration & More?

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Podcast from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/09/what-is-the-oura-ring/

[00:00] Introduction/About Petteri Lahtela

[04:58] Why It's Called The Oura Ring

[07:33] How The Oura Works

[14:46] How The Oura Compares To Other Devices

[17:11] Oura And Sleep Cycle Measurements

[23:06] The Oura's HRV Collecting Technology

[26:33] Readiness Score

[31:04] Oura's Respiration Rate Measurement

[33:20] What Is Measured With Oura's Accelerometer

[35:57] How And Why Oura Measures Temperature

[38:53] The Curious Platform

[42:43] Oura Ring Sizes

[48:17.6] End of Podcast

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

 “We have actually developed the algorithms also based on the sleep lab data in all the sleep stages.  Deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep.  We are about 72%, minute by minute comparison to golden standard.” “In this ring form factor, we can get that to good access through the arteries.  From that, we can derive plenty other things like respiration rate and so on.” “This is by far the best, especially in detecting REM sleep, light sleep, and of course, getting also other sleep stages…”

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It’s Ben Greenfield here.  And in an article I wrote about two years ago over at bengreenfieldfitness.com entitled “Top 10 Lessons Learned at Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Biohacking Conference”, I kind of jokingly quipped the following paragraph: “Here at the Biohacking Conference, I’ve seen a little bit of everything.  But ultimately we still need one device to rule them all, a la Tolkien's magical ring.  In other words, we need one simple wearable unit to be designed that 24/7 tracks heart rate variability, heart rate, pulse oximetry, global positioning, sleep, steps taken, calories burned, respiration, perspiration, skin temperature, et cetera.”  So based on that I was understandably kind of excited when I found a Kickstarter page for this new self-quantification wellness computer that you wear on your finger called the Oura Ring.  And it's this relatively small ring that uses miniaturized electronics to track and measure many of those parameters that I just mentioned like sleep and heart rate, heart rate variability, activity, body temperature, movement, respiration, and a bunch of other things.

So I decided that I wanted to get one of the inventors of this ring on the show to delve into what it does and also whether or not it's one of those things that you should avoid because it's constantly transmitting a signal, 'cause I know many of you are worried about that, or something that you could in good conscience, wear without deleteriously affecting your health.  So if you are into biohacking and self-quantification, you’re gonna really dig this episode.  I will put a link to everything that we talk about and also a link to the Kickstarter page for this Oura Ring over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/oura.  How do you spell “Oura”?  O-U-R-A.  So bengreenfieldfitness.com/oura.  So my guest, and I'm going to do my best Finnish pronunciation of his name, is Petteri Lahtela.  And Petteri is the cofounder, the CEO, and the inventor of the Oura Ring.  He’s actually a serial entrepreneur.  He’s got over 20 years of experience in creating high tech products, and also building international businesses in dozens of countries, and he's worked in mobile telecoms, healthcare IT, medical and wellness technology, healthcare and wellness services, and his latest brain child is this ring.  So, Petteri, welcome to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show.

Petteri:  Thank you very much.  I'm so glad of this invitation.

Ben:  Yeah, it's gonna be fun because I have a ton of questions for you about this particular piece of technology.  I will admit that I usually avoid talking about these type of things on the show because there are, as you probably know, 8 billion different self-quantification devices and they all seem to be promising the same thing.  However, this one has some unique things that attracted me that we’ll get into on this show.  But before we talk about some of those things, tell me about the name.  Why do you call it the Oura ring?

Petteri:  Yeah, actually the name came from our branding office, Proxy Ventures, which is operating in the UK.  And we tried to figure out the name for the product ourselves for, let's say, two years or so, and we couldn't find any.  So eventually we had to figure out some name before we launched the product in the launch festival in San Francisco in the beginning of March this year.  So it was just a couple of weeks before that that we had to invent the name.  And fortunately, we had this branding agency helping us, which, by the way, is one of our investors as well.  So they kind of listened to our story and figured out a few potential names.

Ben:  Got it.

Petteri:  And when we saw these, it eventually meant a lot for us.  The name doesn't have basically any meaning in Finnish.  But in old Finnish language it means, “hard, stony ground”.  So very hard, stony ground.  In Finland, we have lots of this very stable stone on the ground.  So we want to provide people the same thing.  So kind of having good basis for their health.

Ben:  Okay.  Well, let's jump into what exactly this does.  So one of the first things, and  I notice one of the things that you seem to highlight quite a bit, both on the Kickstarter page as well as in the press releases for this Oura ring, it's the sleep tracking capability.  And I'll be honest with you, most of the folks that I've talked to about sleep technology and sleep algorithms say that most of these devices, like the phone apps that you download to your phone and place underneath your pillow, or even like the Beddit device for example, that they're really not as accurate as what you would get out of, say like, a sleep lab.  I'm curious if you can speak to how Oura tracks sleep, what kind of sleep data that you get out of it, and finally how accurate the actual data is.

Petteri:  Yeah.  I'm happy to talk about that.  And before we go deeper into the sleep, I would just like to mention that what we wanted to solve with this product is that we wanted to provide a simple and comfortable way for people to know that how well they recover during the night, during the sleep, and how well of what they can do themselves to improve their sleep quality so that they can feel refreshed in the morning and then perform well during the day.  So that was our aim.  But we wanted to find out ways that how we can improve recovery from daily mental and physical load.  So the basis is there.  And as we all know, sleep is the most important time for us to recover and to refresh from whatever we do during the day.  And there’s lots of studies about sleep and how important it is, so we don't need to go through that area.

But when we started developing this product and solving that problem, we didn't know in the beginning that it's going to be a ring.  So we started from different parts of the body.  So myself actually, I started measuring myself continuously about 10 years ago when I was working in the context of chronic diseases and developing IT solutions for diabetes and COPD management and prevention.  So that time, we did some deep studies that, “What is the cause for those chronic diseases?”  And until that time, I had to travel a lot around the world with my work, in more than 30 countries continuously.  And I had the challenge that I had to find the balance between all that traveling, and working hard, and the family life, and my personal health.  So we've found out that chronic stress is one of the main reasons that cause an effect for those chronic diseases.  So we started kind of doing research that, “What causes this chronic stress?”  How this load, our daily load, how it prolongs, how it gets so severe that it gets chronic.  So we wanted to develop something that helps people to prevent and see the early signs from the body for that purpose.

Ben:  Right.

Petteri:  So then we tried, we developed prototypes.  First, we measured from the ear and then from, of course, we used heart rate valves, polar heart rate valves continuously and other places in the body.  And then we developed one prototype on pulse oximeter.  So one of our guys, he’s a hardware guy and he has long experience in optoelectronics and developing hyperspectral imaging embedded systems, and so on.  So he developed this prototype on pulse oximeter.  So we rewrote all the software in it and find out that actually from the finger, we can get quite a good signal in a comfortable way.  But of course, it's not so usable if it's on the fingertip.  And one of our co-founders, one of the inventors is a guy called [0:11:15] ______, who actually created the design for the product. He was a several designer in addition to that he’s a very talented engineer as well.  So then we came up with the idea that, “Okay, why don't we make it as a ring?”  And that was kind of an “Aha!” moment for us that, “Okay,” then we could solve the problem that most of the wearables, they have plenty of good points, but they don’t feel so comfortable.  Like for example [0:11:47] ______ cannot be used continuously over several weeks or months.  And specifically during night time, it’s not so good for that purpose.

Ben:  Right.

Petteri:  And the wrist devices couldn't provide accurate enough access to those signals that we need.  So then we started developing the prototypes of the ring about two and a half years ago.  And since then we've on that way and now we are here.  So that's a long explanation for that.  So all that ended up us to findings that from the finger we get, and especially in this ring form factor, we can get that good access through the arteries to those blood volume, pulse, and so and so.  But we can derive a time between the heartbeats, and form that we can derive plenty of other things like respiration rate and so on.

Ben:  Okay.

Petteri:  And in the combination with the 3D accelerometer data and the temperature sensors and so on, we started developing the algorithms for sleep.  And, Ben, to this picture comes one guy who was really important in this equation.  He’s the guy called Hannu Kinnunen.  He comes from Polar, and he has been developing over 80% of all algorithms in Polar heart rate monitors and activity trackers during the last 17 and a half years.  So combining that knowledge with this kind of mechanical and biosignal detection things, we were able to develop propriety and very new approach in the algorithms so that we can get very accurate reading of the sleep stages.

Ben:  So have you compared the sleep data to, say like, the type of sleep data you would get from a sleep lab?

Petteri:  Yes.  We have actually developed the algorithms also based on the sleep lab data.

Ben:  And you found it to be accurate?

Petteri:  Yes.  Actually all the sleep stages, deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep, we are about 72%, minute by minute comparison to golden standard.  We are in 72%.

Ben:  Now, how does that compare to other devices.  Because there's the Beddit app, there's the sleep cycle app for the phones.  There is, of course, like the Fitbit, and the Jawbone, and all these other devices that you wear.  Is there a way to measure up how a ring does compared to some of these?

Petteri:  Yes.  First, I would like to mention that 72% may sound not good enough.  But if you put to sleep specialists to do the sleep analysis of the golden standard methods from the sleep lab data, then they reach something like 80 to 85%.  Similar results.  So measuring your sleep and detecting the sleep stages is not that kind of accurate or exact science, in that sense, that you never get 100% if you have several people doing the evaluation.  So 72% with this kind of a device is already much better.  And we have experience from many of the other devices and with the accelerometer based devices, it's totally impossible for somebody to differentiate REM sleep from light sleep and so on.

Ben:  Okay.

Petteri:  Yeah.  So we know that this is by far the best, especially in detecting REM sleep from light sleep, and of course, getting also other sleep stages very accurately.

Ben:  So if this ring measures your pulse oximetry, or your blood oxygenation, and it does measure that, correct?

Petteri:  Actually, the first version of the ring doesn't measure your pulse oximetry because of the oxygen saturation.  Because we didn't want to include visible light LED.  We use only infrared LED in the special frequencies so that we can access the arteries accurately.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So, I guess I was confused.  It measures pulse wave form?

Petteri:  Yes.

Ben:  That's, of course, different than pulse oxygenation.

Petteri:  Yes.

Ben:  The reason I was going to ask that question was I was curious if the data from the ring collected during sleep could potentially outline or elucidate whether or not something like sleep apnea is occurring.  Because this is a big issue with a lot of people is this obstructive sleep apnea that causes wake cycles during the night.  Have you found any information regarding the ability of something like this to measure or to suggest that something like that might be happening?

Petteri:  Yes.  Actually the development data for our algorithms included more than half of the people in the material were somehow sick, they are insomniacs and other prefrontal cortex epilepsy, that kind of people, and so on.  So from the algorithms point of view, we detect the sleep stages for those people as well.  But this is not a medical device and we are not heading to make diagnosis of sleep apnea in the first phases, but we know at the same time that more than 90% of people who have sleep apnea, they don't know about that.  And it's a big issue.  So we know that we can detect some of the signs of sleep apnea.  At least you see that the sleep architecture is a lot for those people who have that kind of problems.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.

Petteri:  But we avoid going to the diagnosis of those things because FDA, yeah, you know all about that.

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay.  So then once you've used this ring to measure sleep, and then I want to quit talking about sleep here in a moment and talk about some of the other things that it does, you can then upload the data to an app?

Petteri:  Yes.  And actually I would like to point out that this is actually a ring-sized computer that does all that work by itself.  So all the algorithms are running in the ring.  So we don't need a mobile device, or cloud, or anything else to do the measurement.

Ben:  This is something important because, and I don't want to gloss over this, the fact that the ring is collecting data that in itself means that I don't have to have the ring in Bluetooth mode transmitting a signal the whole time that I’m asleep to a phone.  Is that correct?

Petteri:  Yes, exactly.  Exactly.  So when you sleep, then it stops the Bluetooth.  And also from the app, you can stop the Bluetooth whenever you need.

Ben:  Really?  So if you stop the Bluetooth, there's a Bluetooth disabling feature, the ring will continue to collect data?

Petteri:  Yeah, definitely.  It doesn't need Bluetooth for that because it has all the intelligence inside.

Ben:  Interesting.

Petteri:  That was one of the starting points for us when we started developing the product.  So actually, and also when the Bluetooth is used, it’s only less than 1% of the total time of use of the product.  And the adjustable output power is less than one milliwatt.

Ben:  Less than one milliwatt?

Petteri:  Yes.  So it's 250 times less than your mobile phone.

Ben:  Now we had a podcast about Bluetooth technology and about the fact that many of these devices constantly transmit, as a matter of fact, that was one of the first questions that I asked you when I sent you a question via your Kickstarter page was whether the device constantly transmits a Bluetooth signal, or whether that signal can be disabled.  So while I'm asleep, while I am tracking activity throughout the day, et cetera. I don't have to have Bluetooth enabled until I decide that I want to actually download that data to my phone, at which point I can enable Bluetooth, download all the data, and then turn it back off?

Petteri:  Exactly.  And the download, like all the sleep analysis in the morning, it takes only less than two minutes to get that data to your phone.

Ben:  And one milliwatt Bluetooth power, just to put that in context, a cellphone is typically about 1,000 to 2,000 milliwatts peak with anywhere from 120 to 250 milliwatts while you’re actually using it, correct?

Petteri:  Yes, exactly.

Ben:  Okay.  So this is far, far less than what you’d even get from a phone.

Petteri:  Far less than that, yes.  And one of the reasons for that is that this is made of silk cornea.  So it’s ceramic and it allows the Bluetooth signal very easily through it.  So we don't need to use lots of power for that.  And it's also good for the power consumption point of view.

Ben:  Yeah.  Tell me about the battery.  How often do you have to actually recharge the battery on this thing?

Petteri:  It lasts two to three days.  And the two to three is because it also measures your pulse during the day in certain situations.  For example, if you want it to measure your resting heart rate while you are doing your relaxing exercise, or just sitting down and relaxing for a while, or you’re doing some deep breathing exercise, or something, then it automatically turns on the heart rate measurement.  And then you can see that also in your activity view.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Okay.  Let's talk about another thing that I know is going to be very important to the listener, and that’s heart rate variability.  The reason I want to ask you about heart rate variability is because, to my understanding, well not my understanding but to my knowledge in the past, a lot of these devices that are, for example, using the camera lens on the phone to measure your heart rate variability, they're not accurate.  I really only found devices that you wear, like a Bluetooth strap that is measuring the RR interval of the heart beat to analyze heart rate variability, to be accurate.  Where does the rings stack up in terms of the type of technology used to collect heart rate variability?

Petteri:  Yes, you are completely right in the fact that most of the devices cannot get that kind of accuracy.  And also all that kind of apps that use the camera lens or something, it’s kind of a misuse in all, they shouldn't talk about this at all I think.  And also related to heart rate variability, it might be that it’s widely misunderstood in most of the cases.  Because, as you know, it's so sensitive parameter that you have to be really aware that how you can actually use it.  And also in what kind of situations it can be applied.  But we can go to that a bit later on.  So we continuously, when we were developing this product, and still are developing of course, we are continuously comparing it to the best devices in the market like Polar heart rate belts and the accuracy of interbeat interval, and we actually, we want to use the term interbeat interval instead of RR interval because RR interval, as you know, it's used in case of ECG measurement, and this is based on blood volume pulse, so it's a peripheral measurement.  And we are really close to the heart rate belt in the heart rate variability, or this interbeat interval.

Ben:  So is it an LED that you're using to measure heart rate variability or some kind of like an optical measurement?  The reason I'm asking this is because I toured a facility in Israel a couple of years ago and they're working with the US Air Force and using headband-based sensors that used a light to measure heart rate variability in a helmet.  And this actually did turn out to be just as accurate as the heart rate chest straps.  Is this something similar that you're just using in the ring or what exactly is being used to measure heart rate variability?

Petteri:  Yes, this is really close and similar.  And it’s actually specific wavelengths of infrared light.  So you cannot see the light from the LEDS that we use.  But it is a specific wavelength that is capable of reading the data directly from your artery.  So on each of your finger, you have two arteries on the palmar side of your finger, and that's why the sensors are on the palmar side in the ring as well.  So we accessed directly the artery, and the artery in that position in the finger where you wear the ring is quite fit.  And when you know how to access it, penetrate it through the skin and use correct wavelengths, then you get really accurate reading.

Ben:  Now is this reading that the infrared in the ring is using to derive HRV then used to produce this readiness score that you talk about on the Kickstarter page?

Petteri:  Readiness score is a combination of many things.  I need to give you a little bit background on this readiness.

Ben:  Okay.

Petteri:  So it’s a combination of your sleep quality and sleep related other things that we measure during your sleep.  So it's not only sleep stages and the sleep quality that we measure, but we measure also other things during your sleep.  And then also, you know that most of the things that you do in the day affect your sleep and also your sleep quality affects how you perform during the day.  So we wanted to create the product that keeps you holistic you, that the how your daily activities or whatever you do during the day, so your physical or mental load, how they affect your sleep.  And then this readiness, it shows you the contributors about your sleep, your sleep quality, your circadian rhythms, your circadian alignment.  So it means that it measures also your rhythms, so when you go to sleep, and then you wake up, and how it affects your sleep quality, and also how your sedentary life, so how much sitting you do and when you do your exercises, how long they continue, and what's the intensity, the timing of your exercises.  All those have kind of interlinked connection to each other.  Through this readiness score, we show different contributors to your readiness to perform at your best.  Body temperature is one of them, resting heart rate is one of them, and also like the time when you reach the lowest resting heart rate, your previous day’s activity, and several of the previous day’s activity, your sleep balance which also includes kind of sleep debt and also previous night’s sleep quality.

Ben:  Now, this sounds pretty comprehensive in terms of what you're using to calculate the readiness score.  Are you choosing those variables randomly?  Do you have any research that looks at things like injuries, illness, things of that nature, when it comes to this readiness score actually being accurate or is this all just a hypothesis?

Petteri:  All those contributors have scientific basis.

Ben:  Okay.

Petteri:  And so this Hannu Kinnunan and also our other research people, they have long experience on this.  Actually one of our research people have, she's actually a specialist especially in circadian rhythms and this homeostatic balance research, and Hannu Kinnunan has been doing more than 20 years of research in this area in Polar.  He used to be the principal scientist of Polar previously.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Interesting.

Petteri:  And so he has hands-on experience writing the algorithms by himself.  And also I think you know Polar really well.  They do lots of research which doesn't end up to their products.  So maybe 5 to 10% of all the research they do ends up to their end products.  And so there’s lots of much more understanding about the physiology and science of performance in that relation.  So we've been carefully picking that kind of contributors that has clear scientific basis for all of them.

Ben:  Okay. Gotcha.  Alright.  So we've got a readiness score, we’ve got sleep, we’ve got HRV.  A few other questions that I have for you.  First, about what the device measures.  So obviously, it's going to measure heart rate if it can measure heart rate variability.  It can measure respiration rate.  I'm curious how one knows from something worn on the finger how frequently your breathing and how like movement of the fingers and things like that don't mess around with that.

Petteri:  Yes.  So it comes back to this interbeat interval and also the pulse wave form.  So from the blood volume pulse that we measure from the finger, we get pulse wave form.  So it is one indicator of your respiration rate.  But we derive that also from the interbeat interval.  So those two ways provide us really good reading of your respiration.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Do you personally calculate your own respiration rate and do you get anything interesting out of that?  It's not something I've experimented too much with myself.

Petteri:  It's most important kind of factor during your sleep and it's quite hard to measure that.  But I've been talking to people who are developing, for example, sleep apnea devices, and so on and they've been using devices that uses audio, for example, to listen to your breathing and then they compare that result to what they have measured.  So there are some ways to measure that.  But yeah, I haven't been doing that so much myself.

Ben:  Yeah.  I'd be curious.  I mean, obviously, I'm talking to you because I'm interested in experimenting with this ring quite a bit myself, but I'm curious specifically about how the respiration rate changes throughout the day, but during sleep, stress, rest, exercise, et cetera, all kind of information can be derived from that.

Petteri:  Yes, it’s really important.  It’s actually a really important parameter in sleep staging, for example.  So it has a specific pattern in different sleep stages.

Ben:  Yeah.  So we've got respiration.  The other thing, or another couple of things that I noticed that you measure are using the accelerometer, activity and movement.  What exactly is being measured when it comes to activity and movement?  Is it the speed of movement?  Is it just the overall calories burned?  Or what else can you measure using as accelerometer?

Petteri:  It is used in many ways.  So during the night time, it is for measuring the slightest movements that your body has, your finger has.  And you may figure out that when it's on your finger, you can get even the slightest movements that you cannot detect it any other way that you are using on your bed.  For example, your phone is somewhere on your mattress or something like that, they cannot detect that kind of small movements.  Of course you know, for example, when your nervous system relaxes, then there are small movements that are [0:34:07] ______ in your fingers and so on.  So we get the slightest movement during the night.  And during the day, we do basically everything else, everything like all the other activity trackers too.  But one of the biggest differentiators for us, from activity measurement point of view and activity point of view in general is that we use as one of the factors for defining your daily target for your activity, we use several factors from your readiness, and one of them is how refreshing your sleep was, and how well you have recovered from previous day's activities, and so on.  So we give you daily target for your activity based on those.  So this is the only product that gives you the kind of target which is good for you today.  So it adapts to what kind of life you live, and what kind of lifestyle you have, and what kind of load you are living through right now.

Ben:  Well it tell me anything about how fast I’m moving, like if I'm running, or how far I've traveled if I’m walking, or something like that?

Petteri:  Yeah, it gives all the distance, and all the calories, activity calories, and normal calories it takes when you are a sitting, or standing.  The conduct sensitivity is a lot based on 3D accelerometer data and so on.  So it can provide much more information than just those we mentioned.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Now how about temperature.  How is it measuring temperature and why would you want to measure temperature?

Petteri:  Yes, temperature is really an interesting parameter, especially when measured from peripheral, like finger.  So we could get the body temperature, kind of a long term trend.  But also during the night, we get the highest values and so on.  And I could tell you a couple of examples that what we have already found out, like a couple of our developers, they have had situations when they had fever during the night, and when they wake up in the morning, they didn’t know about that.  And one of the guys was Hannu Kinninan, our chief scientific officer who has developed the algorithms, and he always runs to the workplace, and he takes the kids to the day care and so on by running.  And that morning, he ran to the day care place and felt like that the running is not smooth at all, but he didn't know what time yet that he had fever through the night.  And when he got back to the office, he checked his data and saw that he had raised temperature during the night.  And he said that this was the first time that there’s some device that can tell him something that he didn't know himself beforehand.  So it’s that kind of preventive things that we can proactively tell to the users.

Ben:  Is body temperature used at all on that readiness scores that you're talking about?

Petteri:  Yes, it's one of the contributors in the readiness score.  So if your body temperature is not normal, then it has quite a big effect actually in the readiness score.

Ben:  Gotcha.  One thing that I wanted to ask about, because I do everything from triathlon to Spartan races, is the durability of the watch.  Is it waterproof?

Petteri:  Yes, it's 50 meters.  So it’s 160 feet or something like that.

Ben:  Okay.

Petteri:  You can go swimming, and diving, and do whatever.

Ben:  So it will withstand higher temperatures as well in the sauna?

Petteri:  Yes, yes.  From -30 degree Centigrade to +80.

Ben:  And the computer will still work and collect information about my heart rate, body temperature, et cetera, if I'm wearing it, say like, in a sauna or in a cold pool?

Petteri:  Yes, yes.  Exactly.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.  So tell me a little bit about, I know that you've got a lot of data in the app that allows you to integrate some of the things that you're collecting as far as like sleep cycles and things of that nature, but tell me about the Curious platform.  What is the Curious platform?

Petteri:  Yeah, Curious platform is, so we are cooperating with them because they can combine all the data that we collect with other related data, like if some people are using some medication or if they want to combine this data with your genetic information, or [0:39:15] ______ information, or whatever.  So if people want to start building that kind of knowledge for themselves, that how different things in their life correlate with their sleep, and activity, and this readiness.  Then they can use Curious platform to create tasks that they follow during the day and then start kind of building up their own totally unique way of measuring themselves and learning about themselves.

Ben:  So this is built into the actual app that you upload the data from the ring into?

Petteri:  Yeah.  We connect with Curious system so that our ring, through the app, it sends automatically the selected information to Curious system.  Yeah, for that kind of purposes.

Ben:  Interesting.

Petteri:  But our system, our app and ring, it's completely its own product as well that gives all about the sleep, and activity, and readiness, and so on.  But this Curious connection is the first example of how you can utilize all that refined data in other platforms that can provide you much more added value from different perspectives.

Ben:  I’m curious if the ring vibrates, or makes noise, or does anything like that.  Like if I’m in, say, a certain sleep cycle and I want to wake up during that cycle, does the ring have any way to wake me up at some point between 6 and 7 AM when I’m in my lightest sleep cycle or anything like that?

Petteri:  That was in our future list that we wanted to include it.  But this so small a device that all those vibrators, they were overkill for this product.  So we didn't include it in the first version of this product.

Ben:  Yeah, that would be an interesting addition.  So you said another thing you were thinking about for a future addition would be pulse oximetry?

Petteri:  Yes.  Yes.

Ben:  That would be very interesting simply because for everything from, obviously, looking at things like sleep apnea as well as people who are training for altitude, endurance athletes, et cetera, that would be a cool feature as well.  I noticed that on your Kickstarter page, there seemed to be a few different versions of the ring.  Does it all just come down to color and the actual materials used to make the ring that differentiate the different types of rings that are going to be available when this is released?

Petteri:  Yes, those are the three first colors that we provide.  So black is available as glossy and matte.

Ben:  Okay.

Petteri:  And then there’s a white version.  All of them are the same material.  But this matte ring, it’s like those sports cars that have a matte finish.

Ben:  Is that the stealth black?

Petteri:  It’s stealth black and it’s totally its own product.  It looks really cool.

Ben:  Yeah, it’s very cool.  So a couple of other just basic user questions.  The first is regarding the sizing.  How would one know what size ring because obviously people come in a variety of different finger sizes?

Petteri:  Yes.  So first of all, when people do the, in this Kickstarter app when they do the pitch and the campaign is over, then we send everyone the full set of rings from US 6 to US 13 sizing rings.  They are made of plastic, but they are exactly the same design as this ring.  So then they can try all of them and then feel it a little bit, in which finger they would like to wear it, and then select their size, and just inform that to us and then we deliver the end product.

Ben:  Got it.

Petteri:  That makes sure that they get the right size and so on.

Ben: Okay.  That makes sense.  And then as far as the actual pricing on this, what would a basic ring cost someone if they wanted to purchase one?  And then as a follow up to that, when would someone actually be able to purchase or when will these ship for the people who are getting on the Kickstarter, or going to ouraring.com, or anywhere else to get it?

Petteri:  Yes.  At this moment until next Thursday, it will be still available in Kickstarter.  And now if you buy one it’s $229.  But if you buy five, the average price is 179.  So it's all in between that.  And after the campaign it's going to be the retail price will be $299.

Ben:  Okay.

Petteri:  And we will open our ouraring.com, the shop right after Kickstarter.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.  Cool.  Well at the time that this podcast is being recorded, I'm actually very close, tomorrow I'm actually going to be flying over to Finland, so I may get a chance to see this ring up close and personal, but in the meantime, what I've done is taken some notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/oura, that's bengreenfieldfitness.com/oura, for those of you who are listening and who would like to go to the Kickstarter page, or go access anything else that Petteri and I discussed during this podcast episode.  If you have questions you can leave them over there on the comment section as well.  So in the meantime, Petteri, anything else that you want to share with us about the ring or about the technology that you're using?

Petteri:  Yeah.  I would like to say that we are really passionate ourselves about this product and we are happy to already see ourselves that we’ve been reaching the target that we had initially.  So we believe that we really can provide something valuable for people.  That was our initial target, that we solve a meaningful problem.  And now we have proved that to ourselves.  And actually the reason for going to the Kickstarter this late phase was that we wanted to show to ourselves that we can do this and we can make it work.  So that's why we are sure about that and we’re also so confident about the campaign and so on.  So we have already produced hundreds of these rings, and people like Eric Topol is using it already and tweeting about his nights and so on.  So we’ve given this to certain people, and some of our investors as well, and so on.

Ben:  Cool.  I like it.  Well, I'm really looking forward to hearing any questions that people have about this one and also to seeing it for myself.  So thank you so much for coming on the call and telling us about this, Petteri.

Petteri:  Thank you and we will see you next Thursday.  I will be in the panel in this biohacking meet.

Ben:  Alright.  Well, cool.  I’ll be there.  Alright.  Well, folks, this is Ben Greenfield and Petteri Lahtela, signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com Check out the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/oura, that's bengreenfieldfitness.com/oura.  Grab yourself a ring if you want to over on the Kickstarter page.  Thanks for listening in and have a healthy week.



In an article I wrote 2 years ago about the “Top 10 Lessons Learned at Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Biohacking Conference“, I jokingly quipped that…

“…here at the biohacking conference, I’ve seen a little bit of everything, but ultimately, we still need one device to rule them all – a la Tolkien’s magical ring.

In other words, we need one simple wearable unit to be designed that 24-7 tracks heart rate variability, heart rate, pulse oximetry, global positioning, sleep, steps taken, calories burned, respiration, perspiration and skin temperature.”

So I was understandably a bit excited when I discovered the new ŌURA ring (mention this podcast or my name in the comments section and your full shipping costs will be instantly refunded to you). This small, stylish ring uses state-of-the-art miniaturized electronics to track and measure a host of parameters, including sleep, heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), activity, body temperature, movement, respiration, and more.

In today's podcast, I interview the Co-Founder and CEO of ŌURA ring: Petteri Lahtela.

Petteri is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years experience in creating market-leading high-tech products as well as building international businesses and market entries in dozens of countries. He has experience and expertise in Mobile telecoms, Healthcare IT Systems, Medical and Wellness Technology businesses as well as Healthcare and Wellness services.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-How the ŌURA ring identifies deep sleep, REM sleep, light sleep, and periods of wakefulness, and how accurate this data is compared to actual sleep lab measurements…

-Why the ŌURA ring is designed to allow you to completely disable the bluetooth function, and why the ring is specifically designed to not constantly transmit a signal (very important if you are concerned about electrical pollution)…

-The infrared measurement used to analyze HRV, and why it is just as accurate at measuring HRV as wearing a chest strap…

-How the Readiness Score you get from the ŌURA ring helps you identify days that are ideal for challenging yourself, and those that are better for taking it easy…

-How something called your interbeat interval and pulse waveform can be used to accurately calculate your respiration rate…

-The important data that you can collect about your body using the built-in accelerometer inside the ring…

-How the ŌURA measures temperature, and what kind of health information you can discover by monitoring your body's temperature…

-Why the ring was designed to withstand extremes of environment and temperature, such as hot saunas, cold water, etc.

-How you can use the ring to track daily consumption (caffeine, alcohol, sugar), sleep aids you might be trying (valerian, melatonin, acupuncture) or other factors in your environment (barometric pressure, CO2, pollen count) using something called the Curious platform…

-And much more!








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2 thoughts on “[Transcript] – Could This New Ring Be The Final Frontier In Self Quantification, Biohacking, Sleep Tracking, HRV, Respiration & More?

  1. Vic says:

    Aloha, I am with outside, a blind athlete that does outrigger paddling in wondering the benefits of this, I’m going to have my wife buy me one for Christmas, is this usable for a blind person on a smart phone like an iPhone?

  2. Hendrik von der Brelie says:


    Following your recommendations, I’ve been wearing the Oura ring since about 6 months. I think it’s a nice devise and I like the amount of reliability of data. What I’m struggling with is the interpretation and was hoping you could provide guidance here. One, are you aware of any bench marking database, i.e., I’d like to understand which of my markers is below/above where it should be against peers (gender, activity level etc.). Two, and even more important, knowing where I stand is one thing but understanding how I can improve markers is the next level. For me, my sleep cycles and especially my REM sleep is out of whack. Are you aware of any consultation services where I get the chance to sit down and go over my data with someone and get thoughts on how to improve areas?

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