ŌURA Ring on better sleep through wearable tech. Let’s face it. Few people are getting enough sleep. Even more specifically, few people are getting recuperative sleep. That is the sleep that actually helps your body repair itself and keeps you a lean, mean optimal human being. ŌURA Ring is seeking to change that with better sleep through wearable tech. This ring-sized wellness computer is designed to better understand your daily activity, sleep habits and the routines that help you perform better. The brand recently raised close to $652,000 during their Kickstarter pre-sale that ended September 25, 2015. The Finland-based group is also working with We Are Curious to transform the world’s understanding about sleep. As part of our Wearable Tech Designers Sound Off series, Vanichi Magazine sits down with ŌURA Ring’s CTO/Head of Design Kari Kivelä to better understand the brand’s unique approach to wearable tech. Q + A VM. Some people assert wearable technology still isn’t well defined. For you, what constitutes wearable technology? KK. Wearable technology is constantly evolving, which is probably one of the reasons defining it is so difficult. For me wearable technology is about functionality and form. In addition to offering concrete, meaningful user benefits, wearable technology should really be wearable; it should look beautiful, and feel comfortable and ergonomic. VM. In your mind, why is wearable tech important for the modern human? KK. This is actually a really big question. Why is any technology important for the modern human? When it comes to learning about yourself and finding ways to improve and take control of your own well being, wearable technology has a lot to offer. So far, we’ve just scratched the surface. VM. Is there a difference between “wearable tech” and “fashion tech”? KK. Wearable tech has often been associated with clumsy, uncomfortable gadgets, but that’s slowly starting to change. Design and aesthetics are becoming increasingly important for both consumers and designers of wearable tech, and as a result, drawing a clear line between wearable tech and fashion tech is becoming more and more difficult. VM. How do you think wearable tech and designer tech will change the luxury market? KK. The luxury market is undergoing various changes, and wearable tech is just one part of it. Many traditional luxury brands have already started experimenting with wearable technology, and new brands will emerge. In the future, brands that make unique, high-end products and offer an exclusive customer experience will continue to stand out. However with technology evolving so fast, some aspects of luxury will probably be redefined. VM. Traditionally, consumers have always paid more for intricate, artisan design. As 3D printing, open source and other design technologies become more accessible and ubiquitous, the playing field of design will change. How will designers continue to set their work apart from others? KK. Maybe we need to turn this other way around and consider how designers could best inspire others, and support and make the most of the evolving design field. VM. What are some of the core principles driving ŌURA’s design innovation? KK. With ŌURA we wanted to create design that people would love to wear even without any additional benefit or technology inside. One of the key drivers is obviously wearing comfort. Design has been done in close co-operation with Harri Koskinen, a renowned Finnish industrial designer. We followed his design philosophy of growing skin on top of the components. On the other hand, we sculpted the components to enable visually attractive design.