Wearables Week in Review

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Week In Review

Oura hits the High Street

The Oura ring will be coming to Best Buy stores across the country, signaling Oura’s first significant brick and mortar deal in the US. This is a key move for Oura, which has created a strong presence thanks to its sports league partnerships, as well as being a proven method for early illness detection (key during the early days of Covid). The lack of in-store retail presence was clearly becoming a limiting factor.

The Circana Take:

  • Oura should be commended for carving out a strong niche with essentially an online-only presence. But the only way the company is going to break into the mainstream is via retail channels such as Best Buy. After all, this is a ring, and most people want to try it on before committing to a purchase.
  • Best Buy’s a good start but we would expect Oura to expand into different retailers, such as Nordstrom, rather than focusing on consumer electronics only.

Amazon’s Halo loses its shine

Amazon is killing off its health-focused Halo devices (and related membership), presumably as part of the company’s re-focus on cost-cutting. Customers who purchased the device in the past year will be refunded. Amazon introduced the Halo device/service in 2020 with the launch of a fitness wristband that works with a subscription-based app. The company then expanded to add more devices, such as a bedside sleep tracking device, in a bid to create a health-based ecosystem.

The Circana Take:

  • It was a worthy experiment by Amazon, albeit a somewhat quirky one. The key challenge was that the wristband was just that: a band with no display. It was focused on health and fitness but missed the key use cases that we all secretly desire: notifications and telling us the time. As such, it was really competing within a niche of the market alongside Oura
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