Wearable tech company Oura has hinted at the possibility of its next device offering contactless payments. In a blog post published on May 9, CEO Tom Hale announced the acquisition of Proxy, a company that offers contactless payment and security services. Hale stated that the acquisition would enable Oura to expand its reach into areas including security, identity, payments, and access. The mention of payments has led to speculation that the Oura Ring 4 could feature a wallet service that would allow users to save their cards in-app and use them with the ring, or to access payment features via Google Wallet or Apple Pay.
It is not yet clear how this feature will work, but it is unlikely to be incorporated into the current Oura Ring Generation 3. The acquisition is a sign that Oura is expanding from a strictly wearables-based device into more general smart-device territory. Oura Ring Generation 3 is a popular sleep and recovery tracker with sophisticated algorithms and is a top contender in its market.
The acquisition and announcement of intentions to incorporate payment and security technology show a shift away from fitness towards general smart wear. This move makes sense as it aligns with consumer demands for easy and convenient technology. Incorporating a payment system into a wearable, such as the Oura Ring, would allow for a quick swipe of the ring instead of fumbling with a wallet or phone.
The acquisition also raises questions about other potential features, such as optional haptic notifications or onboard GPS. The company may be looking to expand its device offerings to include a wider range of smart features. The possibilities for Oura Ring 4 are exciting, and consumers can expect to see more developments in the near future.