Oura could soon offer payment support and digital key replacement, with the smart ring maker announcing it has acquired digital identification startup Proxy.
Though the Finnish company has focused primarily on fitness tracking, recovery insights, and sleep monitoring with devices like the Oura Ring (Generation 3), the move suggests it's looking to expand into more general smart features with future iterations.
The most obvious feature to be added in a potential Oura Ring (Generation 4) would be payment support - something now widely available on wrist-based wearables - though, according to Oura CEO Tom Hale, Proxy climbing aboard should help the company move into other areas, too.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with the innovative Proxy team to expand our addressable market, paving the way for new opportunities in areas such as payments, access, security, identity, and beyond," they said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.
Previously, Proxy has worked on building a digital identity signal platform for mobile devices and wearables in order to replace keys, cards, badges, passwords, and apps.
Potentially, then, the next-gen Oura Ring could include a whole boatload of new features that take it well beyond the boundaries of just a fitness tracker.
The move also comes at a time of huge growth for the company.
It recently announced an expansion into Best Buy's brick-and-mortar stores, while 2022 also saw it strike collaborations with Gucci and Strava, as well as hit the milestone of the one-millionth Oura Ring being sold.
All in all, the future looks bright. And while there's no telling when the Proxy acquisition will bear fruit, it's fair to assume we'll see some serious development in the company's next major product.
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