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Oura Ring’s newest feature lets you spy on your friends

A person holding the Oura Ring 3rd generation Horizon and Heritage model.
The Oura Ring Heritage (left) and Oura Ring Horizon  Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Oura, the company that produces the Oura Ring smart ring, has introduced its first social feature, which allows wearers to share certain data between friends. It’s called Circles, and its announcement is joined by the final release of its Sleep Staging algorithm, which has been in beta since 2022.

Oura’s CEO, Tom Hale, explained the thinking behind Circles’ launch:

“Our mission at Oura has always been to improve the lives of our members by taking a compassionate approach to health, and this new feature is just the next step in delivering a personalized experience that allows our members to connect with not only their bodies, but also their friends and family.”

Through Circles, you’ll be able to share the three main data points in the Oura Ring app — Readiness, Sleep, and Activity — collected over a two-week period. It’ll be down to you which scores you share and how often, and you’ll have the option of doing so daily or weekly. You can react to scores by using one of the custom emojis in the app and share data with up to 10 different Circles (which we assume to mean 10 different people). It doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to share any of the deeper data points, such as body temperature or resting heart rate.

Screenshots taken from the Oura Ring app.

Oura has also announced that its Sleep Staging algorithm will finally leave its beta stage and become the standard sleep-tracking system for the Oura Ring. It first launched in November 2022 and has been in beta ever since, with the option to switch between it and the old system available in the Oura app. Over the past months, it has been available to all Oura wearers, but the beta tag will now be removed for both Android and iOS users.

The algorithm is the result of two years of research and data collection from the Oura Ring and polysomnography (PSG) data from other sources, and Oura calls it “among the most accurate sleep-staging algorithms available in a consumer wearable.” It is in 79% agreement with PSG data for light, deep, REM, and waking sleep stages. The sleep-staging algorithm helps inform one of Oura’s other recent feature releases, your chronotype, to help you better understand when your ideal bedtime is.

Tempted by the Oura Ring? We recently completed our long-term review of the third-generation model and recommend digging into it before making a purchase.

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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“The UltraFactory will offer an end-to-end production capability and is based on the company’s first operational model of such a facility in India,” the company says.

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The Oura Ring Horizon resting on a green succulent plant.

The Oura Ring is a highly sought-after wearable device available in different styles and price ranges. It allows users to track their sleep and recovery, stress levels, illnesses, and fitness routines -- and it even provides features specific to women's health. With so many features,  you might wonder whether the watch is waterproof. Let's find out.
Is the Oura Ring waterproof?
Technically, the Oura Ring is not waterproof. Instead, it's water-resistant up to 330 feet (100 meters). This is the case for most modern gadgets. You'll often find water resistance protection on products, which is good, but it's not exactly the same as being waterproof. But what does that really mean? We explain below.
Can you go swimming with the Oura Ring?
The Oura Ring has a certain level of protection that allows you to wear it while swimming, showering, and snorkeling. However, wearing the Oura Ring during scuba diving or when there is a risk of extended water submersion or extreme pressure is not advisable. Oura recommends avoiding wearing the ring in such scenarios to ensure its longevity and proper functioning.

Oura further explains: "The Oura Ring operating temperature ranges from [-10 to 52 degrees Celsius and 14 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit]. You can safely wear your ring in the shower, hot tubs, saunas, ice baths, and cryotherapy tanks. However, extended exposure to extreme temperatures (below 0°C/32°F or above 35°C/95°F) may lead to battery damage."
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Of Oura's chief competitors, only the Ultrahuman Ring Air provides similar water resistance. By contrast, the Amovan Smart Ring only provides water resistance up to 50 meters. The Oura Ring offers the same level of protection as the Apple Watch Ultra, making it an excellent alternative to smartwatches. However, it surpasses the Apple Watch Series 2 or later and the Google Pixel Watch 2, which can only resist water up to 50 meters.

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Oura Ring Horizon sitting upright on a wood railing.

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However, the question remains: Can the Oura Ring track fitness metrics such as step counting? It's time to find out.
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How to track steps with the Oura Ring
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