Oura smart ring gets new “Labs” section in app to test experimental features

Oura Gucci smart ring image 3

Smart ring maker Oura has introduced “Oura Labs” and released the “Symptom Radar” feature. The new section will have experimental features that users can choose to activate and test.

The Symptom Radar is one of the first features in the newly introduced Oura Labs section. It promises to monitor vital signs and alert users about physiological strain.

What are Oura Labs and Symptom Radar?

Oura is one of the few companies that has managed to create a loyal smart ring user base. Its commercially available products are packed with sensors inside a sleek and fashionable accessory.

The Oura Ring competes with Google Fitbit and dozens of other smart bands and smartwatches. Following Google’s footsteps, Oura has introduced Oura Labs. As the name indicates, the new section will include experimental features that Oura may remove, redesign, or eventually add to the main app.

Oura is using the Oura Labs section to test products with its willing users and gather vital data as well as ascertain user feedback. Needless to say, all the features inside Oura Labs are strictly opt-in. Speaking about the feature, Shyamal Patel, Oura’s head of Science reportedly said,

“Oura Labs is our approach to recreate internal engagement for new features with users in a structured and formal way. With this feature, you will have a dedicated space in the app where you can go and start engaging with these new concepts we are building. Users will get to see a lot of early-stage ideas in Oura Labs.”

The Symptom Radar is the only addition to Oura Labs. It is supposed to be a monitoring system. It utilizes multiple sensors to look out for early signs of “physiological strain”, claims the company.

Is Symptom Radar a diagnostic tool that will detect illness?

According to Oura, the Symptom Radar feature, “notifies users of significant changes in biometric trends like temperature, respiratory rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability”.

When users receive a notification from Symptom Radar, they can either enable Rest Mode or lower their daily activity goal. The latter essentially tells the app that the user is prioritizing rest and well-being.

There could be several triggers for Symptom Radar to issue an alert such as excessive workouts, poor sleep cycles, and erratic behavior patterns. However, creeping illness would be the most obvious reason.

Oura has categorically noted that Symptom Radar is not a “diagnostic feature”. As evident from the feature’s disclaimer, it tries to help users, “better understand” their “body’s signals”. Incidentally, such wording ostensibly allows Oura to skip seeking FDA approval.