Last Updated on October 10, 2020 by James Matthews
In an age where nearly everybody seems to have smartwatches or wearable fitness technology, it should come as no surprise that newer technology is becoming smaller and more accurate. In fact, several companies have begun developing “smart rings.”
Yet, not all smart rings are the same. So, we’re going to first go over what smart rings are, how they’re related to biohacking, and then we’ll compare two of today’s more popular smart rings: Oura vs. Motiv.
What are Smart Rings?
Smart rings are worn like regular rings, but provide very similar feedback to smartwatches. They’re known for being able to measure your heart rate, how far you’ve walked or run (distance and steps), and the quality of your sleep.
But, they also have a few other convenient uses that you might enjoy. You can link some smart rings with your credit card and simply pay at the register with your ring or receive notifications from your smartphone.
Smart Rings & Biohacking
So, just how do smart rings relate to biohacking?
Well, smart rings allow you to keep track of how your body is performing at all hours of the day. That means you’ll know exactly how well you sleep, how efficient your heart is functioning, and how many calories you’re burning.
You can then use this highly-scientific data to adapt your exercise routine or diet to better improve your body’s performance. In essence, you’re getting a sneak peek at how your body really works inside.
With that data, you can then….
- Adjust your caloric intake based on how many calories your body is burning over the course of the day
- Develop relaxation techniques if your resting heart rate is too high or spikes suddenly with certain triggers or tasks
- Continue with an exercise program that’s causing an influx of calories burned and lower heart rate
- Participate in a greater amount of exercise or reduce caffeine intake if you can’t fall asleep or if your sleep quality appears to be not optimal
Even though smart rings have incredible biohacking potential, a lot of it comes down to what you’re willing to do with the data you receive. The data means nothing if you’re not going to make changes to optimize your health and performance.
The Oura Ring is perhaps one of the most comprehensive smart rings in existence. The first key feature we want to point out is that this ring is made of heavy-duty steel titanium, but only weighs a mere 0.25 ounces.
That means that you can wear the Oura Ring without even realizing you’re wearing it. After all, not everyone enjoys wearing rings.
The problem with smartwatches and a lot of smart rings is that they have to constantly be charged. The good news is, the Oura Ring’s battery lasts an impressive seven days and only takes about 60 minutes to charge completely.
What makes the Oura Ring so special is that it targets heart health, sleep quality, and activity routines, with each one being analyzed in deep detail.
When you wake up, you usually know how long you’ve slept and whether or not you spent the whole night rolling around. The Oura Ring keeps track of your heart rate while you’re asleep, so you can see just how relaxed your body and mind really were.
The ring tracks how much time you spend in REM sleep, deep sleep, and light sleep. It’ll also let you know how long it took for you to fall asleep, which will let you get a gauge on just how tired you really were.
What’s even better is that you’ll wake up every morning to what’s called a “sleep score,” which is measured on a 100-point scale. From there, you can check out your daily readiness score, which will let you know just how ready you are to take on the day based on your sleep score.
All throughout the day, your Oura Ring will be keeping track of your heart rate and any activity you might find yourself engaged in. It’ll take note of your daily activity levels and give you a quick view of your activity trends over the last week.
With that, you can work to boost your activity level if you notice that you’ve been slacking a little as the week progressed. The Oura Ring will also remind you periodically throughout the day that it’s time to get moving if it notices you’ve been stationary for too long.
You might even be able to get away with a little swimming while wearing your Oura Ring too. That’s because this smart ring is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
What’s really neat about the Oura Ring is that it has a little feature called “Moment.” Through the Oura app, you’ll then be walked through a guided meditation, after which you can view the changes in your heart rate during the meditation.
Unlike other smart rings, the Oura Ring is actually capable of keeping track of your body temperatures. While this might not seem all that interesting right now, it can actually alert you of any illnesses that might be brewing in your system or whether your hormones are a bit off.
Last but not least, we need to mention the accuracy of the Oura Ring. Because it uses red infrared lights rather than green infrared, it’s able to gauge your body’s functioning on a deeper level and even works better on all skin tones.
The Motiv Ring is also a rather lightweight ring, though it’s pretty durable considering it’s made of titanium. The manufacturer advertises this ring as weighing “less than a penny,” meaning you probably won’t even realize you’re wearing it.
Though the Motiv Ring does seem to do what it claims, the features are much more limited than other smart rings (like Oura). First off, the battery life is only about three days and the ring takes about 90 minutes to charge fully.
There’s no doubt that the Motiv Ring tracks your sleep, heart rate, and your activity levels (that’s not up for debate). Yet, the features aren’t as intensive or analytical as other smart rings, so this wouldn’t be the best ring for biohacking.
The Motiv Ring is able to keep track of your activity levels, how far you’ve walked or run, and how many calories you burned during the course of your exercise routine. Yet, the ring focuses more on your heart rate rather than your steps.
That’s because heart rate is a better indicator of your overall health and fitness than simply the number of steps you’re taking over the course of the day. So, the ring will keep track of your elevated heart rate and count this toward your weekly active minutes.
When it comes to sleep, you’ll be getting a nightly sleep score that’ll let you know how long you spent sleeping and how long you were restless. But, you won’t get as much detail on the different stages of sleep.
Also, the Motiv Ring is only waterproof up to 50 meters. So swimming is an option, but it might put the integrity of your ring at risk.
What’s most notable about the Motiv Ring is that it can be used to protect your online accounts. You can set it up so that your ring is used in two-factor authorization logins to several online sites and accounts.
All you have to do is wave your hand (wearing the ring) in front of your computer and you should immediately be signed in. That means fewer passwords you have to memorize and greater safety for your online accounts.
Oura vs. Motiv: Why Oura Rings are Better
There’s no doubt that the Oura Ring is much more in-depth and analytical than the Motiv Ring, but we want to break it down a little further and really show you why it’s so much better. So, let’s talk about what sets the Oura Ring apart and why it’s best for biohacking.
Oura vs. Motiv: User Reviews
Since the Oura Ring isn’t on Amazon, we can’t talk much about the general consensus of the ring. For the most part, individual users seem to be pleased with how the Oura Ring functions and the amount of feedback it gives.
The one main issue with the Oura Ring is its ability to accurately track exercise. Some have noted that the ring can’t differentiate between regular daily tasks that involve a lot of movement and actual intentional exercise. This might make your daily activity levels a bit inaccurate.
The Motiv Ring is on Amazon, and boy, do consumers have a lot to say about this smart ring. In fact, a large percentage of user reviews are rated at one-star.
The first issue seems to be that it doesn’t fare too well after a few months, with many people reporting that the product just stopped charging a few months into using it. So, you’re likely going to need to get replacement rings every few months.
The Motiv Ring also seems to have issues with activity tracking, with a few people noting that exercise times were severely underreported by the app. The ability of the ring to judge your heart rate seems to be a little sporadic as well.
Oura vs. Motiv: Features
There’s no doubt that the Oura Ring is absolutely loaded with more impressive features than the Motiv Ring. That’s because the Oura Ring is designed to measure data much more accurately than the Motiv Ring.
Here’s what sets the Oura Ring features apart from the Motiv Ring.
- The Oura Ring is much more lightweight and less bulky.
- The charge lasts an extra three or four days and charges in 30 fewer minutes.
- You’ll be able to visualize your sleep habits and which stages of sleep you spend the most time in.
- The app will use your sleep score to determine how ready you are to take on the day.
- You can keep track of your daily activity minutes more accurately than the Motiv Ring.
- It can survive up to 100 meters of water-resistance (as compared to 50 meters in the Motiv Ring).
- It comes with guided meditations to lower your resting heart rate.
- You can keep track of your body’s temperature, which might let you know if you’re sick or not feeling well.
- It uses more accurate red infrared technology.
Overall, the Oura Ring clearly sets out to improve your overall health. Meanwhile, the Motiv Ring seems to be more of a prototype. The Oura Ring is definitely more capable of providing you more feedback on your health and fitness.
Oura vs. Motiv: Optimized Biohacking
Both rings can technically help you when it comes to biohacking. But there’s no doubt, the Oura Ring provides much more insightful detail. You can actually use their data to adjust your current lifestyle to better your health.
This is all possible through….
- Sleep scores. These will tell you how well you slept, how long you spent in each stage of sleep, and how long it took you to fall asleep. For example, you might want to reduce caffeine intake if you can’t fall asleep. Or, you might want to work on relaxing a little more before going to bed.
- Temperature. This is the most unique feature that other smart rings just don’t have. You can use the temperature data to keep an eye on your body’s functioning. For example, you can determine whether you’re ill or your hormones are off-balance
- Readiness scores. You’ll be able to tell how your sleep will impact your day ahead. That way, you know if you’re ready for some hardcore exercise or whether you should take it easy today.
Overall, all of this data is extremely useful. You’ll be able to determine what you’re ready for during the day, whether you’re healthy or not, and whether you can improve your sleep quality.
If you truly want to optimize your biohacking, go with oura vs. motiv. Save yourself some money and a headache by avoiding the Motiv Ring.