BioRing – Is Your Fitness Tracker Better Off On Your Finger than Your Wrist?

BioRing – Is Your Fitness Tracker Better Off On Your Finger than Your Wrist?

Fitness trackers have quickly become very popular, walk down the street and sooner or later you’ll be sure to see a silicone looking band on a passerby’s wrist. Stop by the gym and you’ll see them all over the place. People have always been interested in fitness, and technology has now enabled us to track our exercise, track our sleep, track what we eat and more, all with the promise of helping us lead healthier, happier lives.

Despite their rise in popularity, however, fitness trackers seem to have a niche, there are definitely a lot of people who care about quantifying their fitness enough to wear a fitness tracker, but there are a lot more who really don’t. What I wonder is, is there a future where essentially everyone has a fitness tracker, the way everyone has a smartphone?

What got me thinking about this is a really cool project on Indiegogo called BioRing, pitched as “a groundbreaking wellness ring that automatically measures your calorie intake, calorie burn, heart rate, sleep and more!”

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Sounds pretty cool, looks pretty cool, so will changing the form factor of fitness trackers to a ring get everyone to use one? Probably not. Having said that, a lot of people are clearly interested, BioRing has raised over $500,000, almost nine times their goal. A similar project called OURA ring raised over $650,000 on KickStarter. People want fitness rings, but I’m not sure if it’s a game changer, or just another niche. This will get more people wearing fitness trackers, but certainly not everyone.

There’s more to the BioRing, though, than just a different form factor, and this may be the more important part. The BioRing uses something called a bio-impedance sensor that measures the changes in fluid levels in your cells by emitting electrical signals with high and low frequencies and then reading the resistance from the tissues. This allows them to monitor your body’s water and glucose levels, which they plug into their proprietary algorithm to figure out the amount of carbs, fats and proteins in your body.

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It’s difficult to say exactly how accurate the BioRing will be without using it (actually, even if I did use it I don’t know how I would cross check its numbers!), but their technology supposedly allows them to track calorie, carb, fat and protein intake, calorie, carb and fat burn, heart rate and health, sleep, water and stress levels, and activity intensity; fairly advanced functionality for the average fitness tracker.

This highlights something important for fitness trackers, right now they don’t track all that much, and whatever they do track, they don’t track very well. Personally, I have an Apple watch, and its good at figuring out whether I’m moving or not, but I don’t count on it for much else fitness wise. As fitness tracking technology continues to improve, however, they seem to be transitioning from fitness devices to more of overall health devices. Things like food, sleep and heart rate aren’t just for fitness freaks, and once these become true health devices, it will become more meaningful for everyone to have one, because whether you care about the numbers or not, your doctor will, and this data can be essential for catching and diagnosing all manner of health conditions.


In terms of form factor, I believe that among the currently available options, the smart watch is most likely to be most common. There is definite value to the screen, working in conjunction with your phone, and as the price, design, speed, functionality, durability, battery life, etc. of smart watches continues to improve, combined with top of the line health tracking, the smart watch will reach a point where it offers a combination of features that will make it worth wearing for a majority of the population.

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