Skip to main content

Blood oxygen sensing is finally rolling out on the Oura Ring

Blood oxygen sensing is finally rolling out on the Oura Ring

/

The feature was first announced last fall

Share this story

The Oura Ring on top of a blanket with the red SpO2 sensors lit up
Oura’s adding two new metrics that make use of its SpO2 sensors: average blood oxygen and breathing regularity.
Image: Oura

SpO2 sensors, which enable blood oxygen monitoring, were one of the marquee upgrades when Oura announced its third-generation smart ring. The only catch was that, even though the new Oura Ring had the necessary hardware, the feature itself was still in the works. Now, roughly nine months after launch, Oura says blood oxygen sensing will finally start rolling out to users this week.

Blood oxygen metrics have become increasingly popular when it comes to sleep tracking. It generally works by shining a red LED onto your skin. The amount of light that’s then reflected back is used to estimate how much oxygen is in your blood. The feature works similarly on the Oura Ring Gen 3, which uses a combination of red and infrared LED sensors. But while many devices — like the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 — opt for spot check readings, the Oura Ring will take continuous SpO2 measurements during sleep.

Oura says users will see their blood oxygen data in the form of two new metrics: average blood oxygen and breathing regularity. The former is a straightforward percentage, while the latter is meant to track “observable drops in average blood oxygen levels.” That, in turn, is meant to help users see how many sleep disturbances were detected in a single night.

A screenshot of the Oura app showing a user with frequent breathing disturbances.
How the breathing regularity metric will look in the app.
Image: Oura

Both metrics will be turned on by default, but users can toggle them on or off from the Blood Oxygen Sensing option in the main menu. The metrics themselves will be displayed in the Sleep tab, and suspected variations will be shown in a timeline broken down into 15-minute intervals. Each interval is represented by a color-coded line — dark blue for few variations, light blue for occasional variations, and white for frequent variations.

That said, users should take these metrics with a grain of salt. As with any wellness gadget, the Oura Ring isn’t meant to be used in a medical or diagnostic capacity. For instance, while frequent sleep disturbances may behoove you to check in with your doctor, it’s not an automatic sign you have sleep apnea or any other chronic condition. It’s also not a suitable substitute for a pulse oximeter. Essentially, this kind of wearable SpO2 data is a relatively passive metric that doesn’t fluctuate much on a daily basis. Features like this are more or less meant to help you keep track of when your long-term trends deviate from your individual baseline.

Enabling the feature also comes with a few caveats. Oura specifies that blood oxygen sensing will be limited to sleep sessions lasting longer than three hours. The company also says that enabling SpO2 sensing will cut into the ring’s battery life. The Oura Ring Gen 3 has an estimated weeklong battery life, but over the past nine months, I’ve generally gotten around 4-5 days on a single charge.

Ultimately, it’s encouraging to see that Oura is finally delivering on many of the Gen 3’s promised features. (It also recently rolled out workout HR tracking, another feature that was absent at launch.) This is especially true since Oura introduced a new $6 monthly subscription for the Gen 3, and as you might expect, it wasn’t a popular decision among long-time customers. While the sting of having to pay a subscription won’t go away, it’s a small consolation now that users are getting more of what they were initially promised.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

E
Twitter
Emma RothTwo hours ago
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomTwo hours ago
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
R
Youtube
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


E
External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler1:00 PM UTC
Green light.

Good morning to everyone, except for the intern or whoever prevented us from seeing how Microsoft’s Surface held up to yet another violent NFL incident.

Today’s big event is the crash of a NASA spaceship this evening — on purpose. Mary Beth Griggs can explain.


D
David Pierce12:54 PM UTC
Thousands and thousands of reasons people love Android.

“Android fans, what are the primary reasons why you will never ever switch to an iPhone?” That question led to almost 30,000 comments so far, and was for a while the most popular thing on Reddit. It’s a totally fascinating peek into the platform wars, and I’ve spent way too much time reading through it. I also laughed hard at “I can turn my text bubbles to any color I like.”