My most popular article ever, Before You Buy an Oura Ring (a List of Missing Features), seems to be gathering a lot traffic since Gen3 Ring was launched. I figured it would be helpful to list those Gen2’s missing features and see if they have been fixed in Gen3. Here’s what I’ve learned after a few weeks of using the brand-new Oura ring.
Continuing my seemingly never-ending quest of digging through privacy policies, this time I analyzed how the most popular wearables companies handle their customers’ data. Fitbit, Biostrap, Motiv, Oura and Whoop all are on the cutting edge of health technology, but are their privacy practices on par with that or not?
A fellow biohacker Alex Fergus provided me with the opportunity to publish my little research article on his website. Over the years he has published tons of information on fitness, sleep and – of course – health gadgets. Few days ago he published the most comprehensive red light panel comparison I’ve ever seen, analyzing everything from EMF levels to irradiance and LED flicker. Let’s just say he knows his stuff, so I’m excited to try to match his professionalism on that space with mine about privacy.
I believe it’s time for the biohacker community to start valuing their data more. In my guest blog post you’ll learn:
- What data do these wearables collect?
- Are they selling or exchanging data with third parties?
- Data retention – how long are they storing your data?
- What can you do?
- And more…
Slowly, but surely I’ve been improving my work environment both at the office as well as at home. If I’m going to spend one quarter of the week in front of a screen earning paycheck, it makes sense to optimize not just the productivity, but perhaps most importantly the external factors that impact my health in the long run. Last year’s back surgery – albeit only a minor operation – was a stark wake-up call for this.
Of course I have more freedom to optimize my work environment at home, so that’s what this article will focus on. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve done so far to upgrade my home office.
Ever since I saw Sky Cowan’s video of Bulletproof Labs, I’ve been thinking how cool it would be to work out in a facility like that. While searching for places to get cryotherapy treatments in Greater Helsinki area, I stumbled upon Bodypioneer‘s site and it quickly became apparent that this might be the closest thing to Bulletproof Labs I could get around here.
Bodypioneer is an importer of workout and recovery equipment first, and an “upgraded gym” second. Essentially, they have a showroom in which you can book workout sessions for the different equipment that they’re importing. And they’re not just any old crossfit gadgets, but machines utilizing different forms of photobiomodulation, vacuum pressure, infrared heating, and so on. After few emails back and forth, I decided to go for an Infrashape bike session first.
Around 2017-2018 I noticed that many – if not most – of the podcasts I listen to published an episode about red light devices. Red and near-infrared (NIR) low-level light therapy (LLLT) or as it’s perhaps more commonly known, photobiomodulation, took the biohacking world by storm. Although the research and tech wasn’t new by any means, multiple companies in this field appeared around the same time, which seemingly popularized the topic.
After a long time of conducting my own research into the science and benefits of red light photobiomodulation, I finally decided to pull the trigger late 2018. I ended up choosing a device which I think provided a good compromise between price, wavelengths and the power of the unit. After over half a year of experience with the panel, this is my review of the Half Stack red light by Red Light Rising.
Earlier this year my employer provided us with the opportunity to do a three-day Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment. This provided me a chance to do three days of “double self-quantification”, and compare the results of the much hyped Firstbeat to my daily driver, the Oura ring.
Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 measures your body’s signals 24/7, whereas Oura ring does most of it’s tracking during your sleep. Both of the wearables focus heavily on HRV (links to Oura’s and Firstbeat’s HRV info pages), but when it comes to sleep, there’s a lot more to look at.
Earlier this year my employer provided us with the opportunity to do a three-day Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment. This provided me a chance to do three days of “double self-quantification”, and compare the results of the much hyped Firstbeat to my daily driver, the Oura ring. I’m not going to explain how these devices or the Firstbeat service itself works, but let’s just say they both heavily focus on Heart Rate Variability (learn more from Oura’s and Firstbeat’s HRV info pages).
These devices are known for sleep and recovery tracking, but they also measure the wearer’s activity throughout the day. This first part of the comparison focuses on that: Firstbeat’s and Oura’s activity analysis differ quite a lot in the ways they capture your activity and what markers they use when doing so.
As someone who has been interested in the concept of “biohacking” for the past couple of years, needless to say I was pretty existed when I got a giftcard to Biohacking Center Finland as a Christmas present. Despite being rather grandiosely named, I had never heard about this establishment earlier, which was rather surprising. The giftcard was for both an isolation tank session and a neurofeedback session, so I booked them both back to back. The idea was that the tank would calm my mind in order to then get most out of the neurofeedback session, latter of which was completely foreign concept for me. This is my brief review of those sessions, and also the start of biohacking in Finland -tag for this blog. Keep an eye out for that one! Continue reading “Float Tank and Neurofeedback Session at Biohacking Center”
NOTE: This article is about Oura ring Gen2. If you’re curious to know if these missing features were fixed for Oura ring Gen3, click here.
As one of the pre-order customers, I have accumulated already over 6 months of data with the second-generation Oura ring. I have a lot of good things to say about Oura, and I can confirm that I’ve managed to make positive changes to my sleep and recovery routines. However, I can’t say that the Oura system would be perfect yet – there’s room for improvement especially on the app’s side.
If you’re interested to see in-depth review of the ring, I recommend checking out videos from Bioneer and Alex Fergus. This is not a review, this is a list of things Oura is still missing. Call it a wishlist or feature requests, here are the 6 things you should probably know before buying an Oura ring:
All of us are built differently. That’s why our bodies can handle different foods in different ways, different workout routines yield varying results between individuals, and some of us seem to always get the seasonal flu while others stay stuffy-nose-free (seemingly without trying really hard to do so). So figuring out what’s the healthiest – the best – way of eating, exercising and living your life seems like a reasonable and even rational goal.
So how can we figure that out? With DNA testing, or to be more exact, analyzing genome and blood biomarkers. However, this type of testing has some obvious privacy repercussions. Let’s weigh the pros and the cons.