It’s been a whirlwind few years for Oura. The hardware maker took the early days of the pandemic to the top of the wearable ranks, establishing itself as the leading maker of smart rings by a mile.
Promising to spot the early warning signs of COVID, the company has established brand partnerships with some of the world’s biggest sports leagues. Oura has had its share of controversy along the way, including adding a premium service that locked existing features behind a paywall.
Around this time last year, the company announced that Tom Hale had joined as CEO, with the stated goal of scaling the company. Today’s news is a major step in that direction, as the company announces a deal with Best Buy that will bring its ring to around 850 locations across the US.
“Traditional retail is a natural next step for Oura and marks a pivotal moment for the business as we continue to expand into the mainstream,” Hale says in a statement. “Introducing more people to the benefits of Oura’s technology and delivering an impactful experience in store and online with the help of Best Buy is an exciting step forward for us as a company.”
The in-person experience is important for portable devices. After all, products designed to be worn on your person provide an extra level of privacy that you don’t get with standard consumer electronics. It’s a very good idea to try something out before spending a few hundred dollars plus the subscription fee.
Oura already has some physical presence, but nothing to compete with Best Buy’s offering. The listing includes limited availability at Gucci and Therabody stores, as well as SoftBank retail stores in Japan.