Oura Ring users can now get a sneak preview of new features – but only if they're on iOS

(Image credit: Oura)

Oura, which makes the Oura Ring, has launched Oura Labs, a beta-testing program that allows users on iOS to road-test new features before they're officially released to the general public. 

Oura's latest wearable, the Oura Generation 3, currently tops our list of the best smart rings, and Oura Labs is an in-app program that enables users to provide feedback on new features via an embedded form.

The first feature to be tested this way is Symptom Radar, a tool which can “help detect early changes to your wellness by monitoring several biometric trends” and send you a notification, recommending that you rest more or change your training goals by activating Rest Mode in the Oura app. 

These biometric trends include “significant changes in temperature trends, respiratory rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability”. The Oura Generation 3 can already monitor and flag up changes in these metrics via a Readiness Score, but Symptom Radar watches for these signs, and delivers push notifications to let you know you’re at risk of developing health issues. 

Speaking exclusively with TechRadar, Oura’s Head of Science Shyamal Patel said: “When your body starts to respond to fatigue, high activity levels, or impending illness, your Readiness Score in the Oura App, which is used to prompt Rest Mode, does not always react immediately. 

“Rest Mode prompts typically occur after your biometrics have deviated significantly from your baseline. Symptom Radar gives members the ability to pre-emptively detect low to moderate changes in their biometrics."

 Analysis: Oura is preparing for war-a 

Hecere Smart Ring

(Image credit: Hecere)

It sounds like a neat, useful new feature. However, it's currently only available to Oura Labs users on iOS – Oura Ring users on Android or other phone operating systems will need to wait for Symptom Radar’s wider public release. 

Patel told me: “We don't have additional information to share about Android at this time, but we hope to expand the [Oura Labs] program in the future.”

While its iOS-only for now, Oura launching its beta testing program now can hardly be considered a coincidence. Smart rings are set to really take off this year, largely thanks to the impending arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Ring

With a lot of competition in the pipeline, introducing a beta-testing program will theoretically allow Oura to improve its service and get new features to its userbase a lot faster. 

If an Oura Ring Generation 4 is on the horizon, Oura will need to equip it with a decent slate of new features if it wants to ensure that it remains a big player in a wearables category that's seeing rapidly-rising demand. 

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Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.