ŌURA’s Kari Kivelä Holistic Approach To Research, Design and Science

For a while now, we have had Finnish company ŌURA in our sights. We were introduced to the smart, health-monitoring ring after at The Wearable Tech show.  Designed to suit both women and men, we found ourselves drawn to the consumer tech company’s handsome piece of jewellery.

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Impressed and wanting to find out more, we got in touch with Kari Kivelä, co-founder and CTO & Head of Design. He was happy to chat with us about the ins and outs of the ŌURA and where they are headed.
Kari Kivela, head of design at Ouraring, promoting a "wellness" ring at the Slush 2015 event in Helsinki, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Slush is the focal point for startups and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media. (Jussi Nukari /Lehtikuva via AP) FINLAND OUT
Kari Kivela, head of design at Ouraring, promoting a “wellness” ring at the Slush 2015 event in Helsinki, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Photo Credt: Jussi Nukari /Lehtikuva via AP
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ŌURA

We started ŌURA, a luxury brand, around 3 years ago. Taking advantage of the gap in the market, we have taken a holistic approach and designed not only a visually appealing wearable but a ring that people want to wear even if it had no tech in it.

WHAT WAS ŌURA’S MAIN OBJECTIVE?

We have come up with a ring that mainly concentrates on recovery and wellbeing. Our main objective is to ensure that people who wear the ŌURA ring are encouraged to reach their full potential.
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WHO HAVE YOU CREATED ŌURA FOR?

In the beginning, we targeted athletes, but now I would say that our target audience is those who are familiar with their needs. They are highly ambitious individuals who work stressful jobs that require them to function at their fullest potential. The ŌURA ring has been designed to appeal to both males and females, 35+years old. 

THE ŌURA RING IS AN INTERESTING DESIGN, WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT?

Well, we believe that design shouldn’t be dictated by technology. That is why the ŌURA ring was designed in a way that makes it personal to whoever is wearing it. We wanted to make sure that, when worn, the ŌURA ring would be a great example of a wearable with seamlessly integrated technology.

“Our biggest challenge was miniaturizing the technology.”

GREAT DESIGN IS HALF THE BATTLE WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING A CONSUMER PRODUCT, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

We are all about strong design thinking. By taking an open minded approach we focus mainly on design, science and research.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE FEEDBACK SO FAR?

So far we have had positive feedback not only on the technology but also on the design, which is great.
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WHAT WAS YOUR APPROACH TO THE TECHNOLOGY USED IN THE ŌURA RING?

Science is very important to us. The technology we use not only adds value but it also provides valid results. Our biggest challenge was miniaturizing the technology. We made sure that we had a clear understanding of electronics, because we believe that design and electronics go hand in hand.

COLLABORATIONS SEEM TO BE ONE OF THE MAIN DRIVING FORCES IN THE FASHION TECH WEARABLE SPACE, WOULD CONSIDER COLLABORATING WITH ANOTHER BRAND?

Independent DNA is important to us, so we do not have any solid plans to do so at this moment in time.
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THERE ARE QUITE A FEW SMART WELLBEING RINGS SUCH AS AS RINGLY,CARDIOGRAM AND EIGHT SLEEP AVAILABLE, WHAT MAKES ŌURA RING STAND OUT?
What makes ŌURA ring stand out is that it can adapt to each individual, providing the wearer with not just data but also guidance and recovery analysis.
SO WHAT’S NEXT FOR ŌURA?
We are going to continue to develop the application. We are also concentrating on our marketing and sales. Besides all that we want to explore data integration. Will it be possible? Can we include the Apple Health Kit? Something else we are always working on is updating our security and privacy.
The Oura Ring Team
The Oura Ring Team
With things looking up, we are excited to share that ŌURA recently announced that they have closed a series A round of €5 million to ramp up production of its rings. Backers include MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito, Jaan Tallinn who was Skype’s founding engineer and a cofounder of Kazaa and the Future of Life Institute. According to Petteri Lahtela, CEO and cofounder of ŌURA Ring, more than 70% of the company’s sales and 75% of its equity funding come from the U.S.
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As technology continues to play a key role in our well being, we look forward to ŌURA coming up with more products that not only look good but are also good to us.
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