“Want to try a smart ring?” During our frequent conversations I asked my friend how we should exercise more and generally improve our health through activity.
“Sure,” he replied, his voice a mix of tones ranging from sad resignation about the current situation to cautious optimism about the future.
So the next week, I handed over an ultrahuman ring air. Six weeks later, I sat down to talk about his experience with it. How would an ordinary person find life with a smart ring, and would it help motivate him or her to do more?
What’s different about this test?
Health and fitness products are often purchased by regular people who want (or know) they can be a little fitter and more active. They’re not only looking to quantify any changes they’ve made to their lifestyle but also hopefully gain some motivation for doing it in the first place. The ideal product is some type of wearable, whether it’s a Fitbit, smartwatch, or smart ring.
What’s the difference between a normal person wearing it and me, not a tech journalist? It’s my job to assess how well this type of tool works, and while I obviously report on whether it inspires me and provides actionable, useful data, I know that it also something that i passed to do. My motivations are a little different. Even though I can’t be bothered to actually go for a walk or workout, I do it because I’m testing the product, not just because I especially trying to get fitter,
What happened during our conversation after those six weeks of wearing the Ultrahuman Ring Air was interesting, because it gave a very real insight into what life with a fitness wearable is like from the perspective of someone whose sole motivation is to improve and improve the performance of their body. Had to learn more about.
Let me introduce you to Normal Matt, who doesn’t cycle 50 miles a week and has never competed in a tough mud competition; He is a moderately active person who wants to stay healthy. Let’s see if wearing the smart ring has helped him move stronger on the path to greater fitness.
too much information
“I was interested in learning about my movement and seeing where I could improve,” Matt told me. He described himself as “stubbornly lazy” when it came to going beyond basic exercises, so Ultrahuman Ring Air had his work cut out for him from the start, but he said he was willing to understand where he could make changes. Are – and how much of an impact he can make when he does so. It was clear that motivational tools and clarity of data were going to be most important to them.
The Ultrahuman Ring Air sent him notifications when he was close to his daily goal, and he often found them motivating to do something extra. These would come after work, at the end of the day, but the movement warnings during the day were nothing but an annoyance. When he knew he was going to be active, he was always eager to see data in the app, which showed that the ring’s ability to motivate came mostly through data and timely notifications rather than regular interruptions. Was.
However, the Ultrahuman Ring Air’s app didn’t always present data well. “I’m not sure I understand a lot,” Matt said, commenting on the wide range of numbers and data points presented in the app. While he understood the numbers, obviously, it was the explanation of why he should care, what he could do to change them, and why he should bother, that was the problem.
I quickly lost interest because the data was not clear and the advice was too obvious.
“It’s a lot of information that isn’t clearly explained,” he said. “It needs refinement because it doesn’t clearly tell me why I should care about all the data.” This problem also affected sleep tracking. “I quickly lost interest because the data wasn’t clear, and the advice was too obvious, like ‘turn off the lights,’ ‘stay in a cool room,’ ‘don’t drink coffee too late,’ and ‘drink a Comfortable mattress.’ “It’s not that helpful.”
Data depth and understanding
The more we talked, the more it became clear that the Ultrahuman Ring Air’s app wasn’t very good at telling Matt what he wanted to know in a language and format he could understand. This mirrored my own experience with smart rings, so it didn’t come as a shock. Matt also wanted to see a simple page with an overview of his performance and the ability to dig deeper if he wanted. For example, he may have found information about the importance of increasing his heart rate during a workout, as well as information about the number of steps taken or a daily goal immediately apparent on the page at a glance. He had an idea that this data was in the app somewhere, but he didn’t want to go on a mission to find it.
Trying to find data that was useful to him, without questioning what it meant – heart rate variability (HRV) is a great example, because he needed to look elsewhere for guidance as to whether it was important or not. No – it’s not inspiring at all. Instead, it’s disappointing, and this is when fitness wearables are in danger of being abandoned. He also found that the complexity of the language hindered being inspired by the Ring Air, and noted that it also took a long time to learn the app’s layout and functionality.
This is not a good situation. Granted, Matt would have done his own research before making any purchases to make sure a device was suitable for his needs, but what he wants is pretty basic. He’s not screaming for more; he is really asking LessWhich indicates that Ultrahuman Ring Air is too technically complex and fails to provide simple, actionable information that everyone needs and understands.
What about the ring?
Although the Ultrahuman Ring Air isn’t exactly providing the motivation and data that Matt wanted, he told me that he’ll miss wearing it mostly when he’s close to reaching his goal and has a short time to make up. requires activity. it. It’s impossible to know without some kind of tracker. But there’s one thing keeping her from fully committing for the long term: comfort.
He told me, “I change it to different fingers because it’s faster.” Again, this is something I found while wearing the Ultrahuman Ring Air. However, she liked the color and commented that many people have seen the ring and reacted positively. He also liked the relative exclusivity of wearing a smart ring. He never considered battery life an issue and simply plugged in the charger while he was in the shower. But the overall comfort level continued to come up as an issue.
I asked if he would have been happy with the Ring Air if he had paid the $350 asking price. They said no and cited poor convenience, app complexity and lack of ease of interpretation, lack of quick access to basic data as reasons. I’m pretty sure the Ora Ring would be a better choice for them, as it’s more comfortable, the data is more accessible and better presented in the app, and it’s nowhere near as complex as the ultrahuman Ring Air tries to be. Does. However, when I explained more, it was immediately removed from Ora Ring’s monthly subscription fee.
life changing ability
We’ve all probably been guilty of purchasing something fitness-related in the hopes that it will change our lives and then finding out that it isn’t. Whether it’s an exercise bike that’s now a clothes horse, a set of dumbbells hidden in the back of a closet, or a wearable fitness device, we learn the hard way that our own things don’t matter if they’re going to work. Motivation is equally important.
But Matt’s experience with the Ultrahuman Ring Air also shows that wearable device makers need to adapt the app experience to more people, make the data really accessible and understandable, and help people get the most out of it. More effort needs to be done to provide simple customization. There is no reason why he should find the app so unfathomable, when his needs are so simple, and all the sensors are capturing the data he wants to see. It’s not like I gave him a highly focused device like the Garmin Epics Pro (Gen 2) and asked him to train for a marathon.
There are a lot of options in the world of health and fitness wearables, and even though they all use essentially the same sensors to collect the same data, its presentation, the way you use it, and the apps you use each let’s see maybe he is More This is even more important than the hardware if you’re hoping it will give you some personal motivation to get healthy.
What about the future of normal Matt and the ultrahuman Ring Air? I haven’t said anything about continuing to wear it for further research (he knew I was going to write this story when we started), so I don’t know if he’ll continue wearing it on his own or not. No. Everything will be stuffed in a drawer and forgotten. If this happens, it wouldn’t be the first time that a health and fitness wearable device has faced such a predicament, and after talking to them about it, it wouldn’t be a surprise.