Oura debuts new hub for experimental features - and the first is 'Symptom Radar'

The company's Head of Science, Shyamal Patel, gives us the lowdown
Oura Oura Labs
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Oura is rolling out an all-new hub for members to test experimental features, Oura Labs - and the first to appear in the stack is 'Symptom Radar'.

Available to members on an opt-in basis, these features are subject to changes, complete removal, or - if Oura likes what it sees from the community - full integration into the app further down the line.

At first glance, it's similar to what Google announced with Fitbit Labs earlier this year, with that platform allowing Premium subscribers a way to give feedback on AI-related features.

As Shyamal Patel - Oura's Head of Science - tells Wareable, the idea behind Oura Labs is to essentially act as an extension of the company's internal process for testing new features.

"We have an internal mechanism at Oura when we are testing early concepts that everybody gets to try them out, share their feedback, and understand what we are building.

"Now, with Labs, we're building a direct channel of engagement around this experimentation and innovation, and testing our new ideas and concepts directly with our members," he said.

WareableOura Symptom Checker

Zooming in on potential illness

With Symptom Radar, specifically, the aim is to pick up on the early physiological signs in your body that you might want to pay attention to your health.

This will include recognizing changes in your temperature, respiratory rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability - not too dissimilar to what's already available through something like Whoop's Health Monitor.

Patel tells us this isn't designed to be a medical feature - which is to be expected, given the fact it would otherwise need regulatory approval - but it is supposed to act differently from the company's Rest Mode.

"With Symptom Radar, you'll get qualitative insights. It's a weather forecast type of feature - this is not something where we can diagnose you or predict an illness. It’s not a medical feature.

"We obviously want to make sure we’re not crossing that line, but it's going to give you a much more explicit insight into whether you might be at risk of an illness than Rest Mode, where the idea is to look at your readiness and recognize when your body might need a break.

"[A prompt to turn on Rest Mode] could be because of illness, but it could also be because of extreme power training. Symptom Radar is a way to zoom in on the likely cause of illness - and not spot something overtraining," he said.

We've opted in and will be testing Symptom Radar out over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for a full breakdown of how it all works and how effective it is at providing insight into our wellness (and any coughs or colds inbound).

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor joined Wareable in 2017, quickly making a name for himself by testing out language translation earbuds on a first date, navigating London streets in a wearable airbag, and experiencing skydiving in a VR headset.

Over the years, he has evolved into a recognized wearables and fitness tech expert. Through Wareable’s instructional how-to guides, Conor helps users maximize the potential of their gadgets, and also shapes the conversation in digital health and AI hardware through PULSE by Wareable.

As an avid marathon runner, dedicated weightlifter, and frequent hiker, he also provides a unique perspective to Wareable’s in-depth product reviews and news coverage.

In addition to his contributions to Wareable, Conor’s expertise has been featured in publications such as British GQ, The IndependentDigital Spy, Pocket-lint, The Mirror, WIRED, and Metro.

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