I know, I know, it’s been a while since my last blog post. I have a multitude of excuses I could use to justify myself. However, since this is my blog and I’ve no obligation to write posts, I’ll keep those to myself for the time being and maybe write a post on the topic in the coming months.
I was decidedly bored last week and was meandering on the internet looking for something to occupy my time. At first, I was looking for a replacement or alternative for my Garmin Vivosmart watch which is in the middle of dying. The band is falling apart and a replacement band or watch costs more than I think it’s worth. It does, however, have some useful features:
- It’s a watch; it’s main use
- It’s connected to my phone; it allows me some distance from my phone
- It monitors my steps, heart rate, and motion (sleep monitor); interesting health data
Unfortunately, it does all these tasks poorly. A watch with a 5-7 day battery life isn’t great. The fact that the usable parts (strap) can’t be easily replaced is a huge downside. Being connected to my phone is great, but unfortunately the phone application that it comes with is of poor quality. And finally, the health data is maybe a little questionable – but I’ll let that slide as that’s fairly systemic.
So I gave all of this a little thought, and considered what I’d like in an ideal world and what can be accomplished realistically. I would still like a watch. So I’m going to buy a solid watch without any bells and whistles. I like knowing the time and I like having something simple that requires minimal maintenance. Just a solid watch that does it’s job well. I don’t really need an additional connection to my phone. I’m just going to play around with my phone settings until I find a nice compromise where I’m notified when there’s something important. Finally, I’d still like to have some health data since I find it pretty interesting.
I started looking at what’s available in terms of inconspicuous sensors. And the best thing I could find was a ring. The first product I found is called the Oura ring (https://ouraring.com/). It does almost everything i would like. Unfortunately, it’s a fair bit outside of what I would consider paying. It’s effectively a small ring with all the sensors you might want that lasts a week and can be charged wirelessly. It has sufficient memory to store data for over a month and uploads and connects to your phone via bluetooth to offload when it can. For the time being, I’ll keep an eye on other smart rings and maybe pull the trigger once the prices come down a little and once the technology matures.