If you’ve ever wondered how well your coworker slept last night, now you can know for sure as long as you’re connected to them through Circles, a new feature Oura announced Thursday for its app.
Oura, the health-tracking ring that collects data like temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen readings, aggregates that information into alertness, sleep and activity scores. With Circles, you’ll be able to share these results with up to 10 groups of people, or “circles,” with a maximum of 20 people in each group.
You’ll be able to choose what kind of data or results to share with each group, so one circle can get more information about your health than another. Although there are only three results available to share through Circles right now, Oura said it plans to expand shareable information in the future.
To start a round, open the Oura app, scroll down the main menu and select ‘Circles’. You can then name a circle, decide what results you want to share, and also decide whether you want that data to be daily or weekly averages. To invite people to the circle (they must be other Oura users), you’ll send them a one-time link.
Once you start your round, you can see their results and “react” with emojis if you choose. Everyone must sync their rings to keep the results visible.
For people who like to collect health data (and maybe brag about a good healthy week), Oura’s Circles features are a good way to do so with other Oura users. But according to a press release, the company is positioning Circles as another way to check in and connect with each other — an increasingly important public health goal amid a loneliness epidemic that’s impacting sleep, mental health and physical illness.
“Our mission at Oura has always been to improve the lives of our members through a compassionate approach to health, and this new feature is just the next step in providing a personalized experience that allows our members to connect not only with their bodies, but also their friends and family,” Oura CEO Tom Hale said in a statement.
Oura’s Circles announcements come as the company brings its new sleep stage algorithm out of beta, meaning anyone who tracks sleep stages with Oura will receive data from the improved algorithm. Shyamal Patel, the company’s head of science, calls the new algorithm “huge improvements in accuracy” of sleep data. The new algorithm has a 79 percent match with polysomnography sleep tests done in a clinic, Patel told CNET.
Compared to Oura’s older sleep tracking algorithm, ring wearers may experience slight changes in the amount of time Oura tells you you spend in deep sleep versus light sleep versus REM sleep.
“Those numbers are probably going to change a little bit,” Patel said.
For more on the Oura ring, read more about how the tracker can tell you if you’re a morning person and how the Oura ring compares to the Apple Watch as a sleep tracker. Also, here’s our in-depth review of Oura, the wearable that can tell when you’re sick.