To many people, the Oura Ring 3 being named as our Wearable of the Year 2022 was a surprise.
The Oura Ring 3 arrived just a week after the Wareable Tech Awards 2021 judging period closed – so the timing wasn’t on its side.
But the Oura Ring 3’s performance across 2022, combined with very strong updates and new hardware iterations has meant that it’s never been far from our minds – or our index fingers.
> Read our full Wareable Tech Awards 2022 winners
A big part of awarding the Oura Ring 3 is how it’s defined a whole segment of wearables – and moved forward the discussion about what a wearable should be.
When we started Wareable in 2014, brands experimented with more form factors. As the segment has matured and gained popularity, though, most wearables we see today are designed for the wrist.
We’ve seen an explosion of activity in the smart ring market in 2022, and that’s nearly single-handedly because of Oura.
Looking at the Oura Ring 3 specifically, it’s managed to bring accurate tracking, valuable insights, and a brilliant app – and put it all on the finger. Many smartwatches and tracker brands would be envious of what Oura has achieved, and it’s done it in a smaller, more complicated package.
It also made us remember the definition of what a wearable should be. The wrist is a coveted space, and it’s hard to justify giving it over to a wearable 24/7.
Many people find it difficult to sleep with a chunky smartwatch, and many people don’t want to live their lives with an extra digital display to stare at; Oura checks those boxes, too.
And finally, it achieves a week of battery life, which negates the challenges faced by using an Apple Watch or Wear OS smartwatch for sleep tracking.
When the Oura 3 launched, it was missing core features such as SpO2 tracking and workout heart rate.
Those features were added in 2022, making it a much more complete wearable. The company also overhauled its sleep algorithms in late 2022, so, in a year, the Ring 3 has become a much better product.
What’s more, Oura has also refined the design.
The Oura Ring Gen 3 Horizon looks much more like a normal ring – getting closer to a vision of a wearable that completely disappears on the body than ever before – and its collaboration with Gucci only enhanced its reputation as a stylish alternative to a wrist wearable.
The Oura Ring 3 is a brilliant wearable in its own right, but it could also be responsible for powering the whole smart ring movement.
And that’s why it’s our Wearable of the Year 2022.