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This smart ring aims to ‘hack’ your metabolism

This smart ring aims to ‘hack’ your metabolism

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The Ultrahuman Ring can also be paired with the company’s wearable glucose monitoring patch

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The Ultrahuman Ring is the latest take on metabolism and fitness tracking.
The Ultrahuman Ring is the latest take on metabolism and fitness tracking.
Image: Ultrahuman

Fitness startup Ultrahuman is launching a smart ring that it claims will give users “ultrahuman power.” And by ultrahuman power, the company means a fitness tracker that gives insights into your metabolism by monitoring sleep and movement. The smart ring can also be used with the company’s M1 glucose monitoring patch for more in-depth metabolic tracking.

In terms of design and features, the Ultrahuman Ring seems to be taking a page from the popular Oura Ring. It has a PPG heart rate sensor, temperature sensor, and motion sensor. (Though Ultrahuman spokesperson Bilal Mahmood told The Verge it won’t have SpO2 sensors.) Like the Oura Ring, there’s no screen and no haptics — meaning you’ll have to look at the Ultrahuman app to see your metrics. Ultrahuman’s press release says this was a deliberate choice to cut down on distractions from notifications. As for metrics, it can track sleep stages, heart rate, heart rate variation (HRV), and body temperature.

The ring itself is made from “fighter jet” titanium and features a tungsten carbide coating for extra durability. According to the Ultrahuman site, this should help with weight lifting and other activities that can bang up rings (e.g., rowing, pull-ups, etc.). As for battery life, it has an estimated four to six days on a single charge — which is on par with most fitness trackers and the Oura Ring.

The ring can be used on its own, but the company claims that if paired with the Ultrahuman M1 patch, users can see how their food intake impacts recovery and performance. The M1 is a continuous glucose monitor. The sensor includes a hollow needle that makes a tiny incision in your skin so that the patch can then track your blood sugar levels in real time. The M1 then gives users a “metabolic score” based on their food intake and exercise levels so they can see how certain foods may affect a workout or their sleep quality. Adding the smart ring to the mix adds more data points, like body temperature and heart rate.

The Ultrahuman Ring comes in four colors and is made from titanium with a tungsten carbide coating.
The Ultrahuman Ring comes in four colors and is made from titanium with a tungsten carbide coating.
Image: Ultrahuman

“With the Ultrahuman ring and a new suite of metabolic biomarkers, you can now understand not just what’s affecting your glucose metabolism but also how to act on the insights in an efficient way,” Ultrahuman founder and CEO Mohit Kumar said in a statement. “You could figure how much of your glucose metabolism is affected by the lack of sleep versus the food itself.”

As a standalone device, the Ultrahuman Ring doesn’t appear to reinvent the wheel. The metrics it tracks are the same as the Oura Ring, and the Lumen metabolism tracker also tells users how the food they eat impacts their fitness performance. (That said, the Lumen tracker is more of a “carb breathalyzer” where users breathe into the device to see what type of fuel they’re burning.) It is, however, novel to see two wearables from the same company that can work together to provide multiple data points for different aspects of your metabolic health. Most fitness and health trackers are a one-stop shop, where a single device does all the monitoring. To get a more holistic picture, you generally have to enable third-party app integrations.

The Ultrahuman Ring will be available for preorder starting July 7th and is expected to ship in August. The ring comes in multiple sizes and four colors — black, gray, silver, and gold. As for price, Mahmood told The Verge that it will retail for $299 with lifetime access — meaning that there won’t be any other recurring charges in the future even if Ultrahuman adds a subscription plan. However, there’s also promotional pricing ranging from $199 to $249 for the first 3,000 orders.

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