Staying balanced when life gets busy isn’t easy. This is the powerful lesson the founders of Oura learned during their fast-paced, long careers in international business and technology. In situations where people are constantly asked to push harder and stretch their boundaries, how could they keep their lifestyles healthy and consistently centered?
Having experienced first-hand how difficult it is to perform well while trying to balance work, one’s own life, schedules and traveling through time zones, they wanted to change the current way of things. They wanted to create a solution that would help people to perform up to their full potential without compromising their health.
Based on their own experiences, ranging from competitive sports to developing solutions for chronic disease prevention, the founders knew that the path to attain good health and performance is to know what your body is ready for - just like top athletes do.
To gain this knowledge, the key is to understand how your body responds to your individual lifestyle.
Not an easy task, either. In search for a solution, the founders found out that albeit many health technology products in the market had great features, none of them could provide access to relevant physiological data in a way that enabled long-term use.
This lead to a decision to put together a unique team of people – combining passion, pioneering industry experience and eye for design – to create a product that was, at the time and in many ways, considered impossible.
So, when Oura was founded, the key questions the team had were:
· How do our bodies respond to our lifestyle choices, daily activities and rhythms?
· How do our behavioral choices affect our sleep, and how does the quality of sleep affect our mental and physical performance during the day?
· How can we measure the body’s recovery from daily mental and physical strain in the most accurate and convenient way?
· How can we improve the body’s recovery for optimal balance, health and performance?
After several years of research, multiple rounds of prototyping and product development, as well as manufacturing innovation, the Oura team was able to answer these questions. They were able to fit a full-featured computer with optimized signal quality into a small ring. This is how the first Oura ring was born. It was introduced in 2015.
The first Oura ring was the first ever consumer wearable capable of measuring sleep quality and sleep stages (e.g. deep and REM sleep) at close to laboratory level accuracy – as proven by Stanford Research Institute, among others.
But it was – and is – not just technical excellence that the Oura team was passionate about, they wanted the ring to be a beautiful piece of jewelry, too. Something so appealing that its owners don’t want to take it off from their fingers.
From the beginning, it was evident that the team would put a lot of effort into the design of the ring. The design is a reflection of the fine craftsmanship of Oura Head of Design Kari Kivelä and Compasso d’Oro awarded Harri Koskinen, who started to create the concept of the ring with an idea of metamorphosis - the combination of our body and technology. The end result, without compromising usability to appearance, was a new, unique interpretation of a traditional signet ring, presenting a whole new way of how technology can become part of one’s persona.
The most important focus for the Oura team has always been you. Oura sees every individual as unique: your state of health and wellness today, tomorrow, and days to follow. Oura believes that by reading how your body responds to your lifestyle, by interpreting what is good for your body and what is not, and by giving you actionable steps to improve it opens a totally new universe of possibilities to take care of yourself even better – be it for mental, cognitive or physical performance, or for beauty, health, and longevity.
Oura’s purpose is to help you to live the best life you possibly can, based on the idea that restorative sleep and recovery are prerequisites to overall wellbeing. This starts by understanding that we are all different in terms of our needs, capabilities and goals. One should therefore be careful with absolute claims across the board. We are all unique individuals - and should receive feedback that reflects this perspective.
Therefore, the Oura ring becomes your coach. It gives you the most useful data, data about you, and helps you to reach your goals. To get the most from this coach, Oura works best when matched with your own desire to understand what is at stake and to grow through effort and to push your limits.
However, Oura is based on the idea that a good life is much more than breaking one’s own limits. A good life means quality time with the people that are close to us. A good life means mental balance. A good life means health and vitality that lasts throughout life. Prerequisites for a good life include tools and skills with which we get back into balance when it is shaken, with which we avoid the destructive impact of long-term stress, and with which we can understand and optimize the relationship between strain and rest.
This balance is our passion, mission, and the reason why we at Oura keep pushing our limits, as well as the limits of technology and design, today and into our balanced future.
Want to feel your own life in balance? The new Oura ring is now available for pre-order. Shop now.