It’s not hard to find a fitness tracking wearable for the wrist, but options run thin when you want a device that’s a little more subtle — especially one with a heart rate monitor. Motiv’s solution is a ring, but instead of focusing on steps and calories, the sleek device puts your active minutes front and center.
Active minutes are the amount of time you exert energy via “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” — regular walks don’t count, but brisk walks or any intensive activity that can work up a sweat do. Trackers from Fitbit and other companies already measure active minutes, but the Motiv Ring is one of few to prioritize the metric over anything else.
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The Motiv Ring tracks your steps, calories burned, average heart rate, activity type, and distance traveled like most fitness trackers, but its priority is to make sure you hit the goal of 150 active minutes per week. It’s the same amount time the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends for adults in a 2008 physical activity report, as the benefits include “lower risk of premature death, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and depression.”
The company, which was founded by former NASA, Apple, Cisco, and Intel employees, has been in stealth mode since 2013. Co-founder and CEO Mike Strasser told Digital Trends his team developed the Motiv Ring to create a fitness tracking device that was comfortable and fashionable enough to wear all the time.
If you’re comfortable wearing a ring, you won’t feel a difference with the Motiv. It looks like a traditional ring, and that’s a good thing. It’s quite light with a metallic titanium shell, and it’s not bulky.
When you pre-order the device, Motiv sends a ring-sizing kit that lets you try on seven sizes to ensure a perfect fit. Use the redemption code in the kit on Motiv’s website or app to purchase the ring in your size and have it shipped to you — you don’t have to ship the kit back to the company. The ring comes in slate gray and rose gold.
The Motiv Ring packs a Bluetooth sensor, a 3-axis accelerometer, an optical heart rate monitor, and a lithium ion battery. The heart-rate monitor isn’t active all the time. Rather, it triggers whenever it detects the user engaging in intensive activity. The more active the user, the shorter the battery life, though the company claims an average of three to five days.
What’s neat is the charging mechanism for the ring — a magnetic charger snaps onto the inside of the ring, and all you need to do is plug it into a USB port. There’s a key chain charger additionally included in the box, and the ring fully charges in 90 minutes. An LED indicator lets you know when the ring needs to charge, is syncing, or updating.
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The San Francisco-based company wanted to ensure the device never needed to be taken off, except to charge. That’s why the Motiv Ring is waterproof up to 5 ATM, or about 160 feet underwater. It also tracks sleep patterns, so users can wear it to bed to monitor their sleep history and improve it over time.
What’s unique about the Motiv Ring is that it measures your progress weekly, not daily. If you only hit a certain number of active minutes on one day, it will adjust the numbers for the rest of the week to make sure you can still hit the primary goal.
The Motiv Ring will be available in spring 2017, but you can pre-order the device now on Motiv’s website for $200. The ring is only compatible with iPhone 5S and newer devices that run iOS 9 or higher. An Android companion app is in the works.