Motiv Ring has been recognized as an impressive feat of engineering by both users and leading press alike. Creating such a small, lightweight fitness tracker took years of long days and hard nights designing patented technology using components that are smaller than a grain of sand.
To learn more about the story behind the design of Motiv Ring, we sat down with our co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Curt von Badinski, to learn more about the history of Motiv Ring and how we were able to create such a tiny but capable fitness tracker.
Before Motiv, you were making accessories for cinema cameras. What inspired you to pursue making a new fitness tracker?
I was overworked. I was sleeping on cots, eating Doritos. I wasn’t sleeping a lot, and I wanted to get a device that could allow me to track my sleep and health a little bit better.
I tried what was on the market, but those options didn’t really work for me. As an engineer, I love a challenge, and I thought I could make a seamless experience for people in a ring form factor.
Most fitness trackers are worn on the wrist – either as a band or a smart watch. What made you choose a ring form factor?
My brother was getting married, and when I looked at his shiny, new wedding band, I decided that was a form factor that wouldn’t bug me, that many people wore, and that you could wear all the time.
When I was tracking my sleep with other devices, I actually found that they made my sleep a little worse. I found them uncomfortable, often waking up a few hours after falling asleep and taking them off. Designing a ring gave me a more lightweight and unobtrusive option that was more comfortable and that I could keep on 24/7.
The ring is custom designed with a lot of custom components. Why did you have to develop new and custom technology for the ring?
To achieve our goal of making a fitness and sleep tracker that you could truly wear 24/7, we decided the ring needed to be small, lightweight, waterproof, wearable, have a long battery life, and overall it needed to look good.
In order to make a ring form factor that was appealing, we decided it had the be the ‘Anti-Super Bowl ring’. It needed to be entirely smooth all the way around, and since there were no options that would allow us to do that, we had to design our own curved battery and circuit board from the ground up. The heart rate sensor functionality is another aspect of the design that was fully custom. We built it from the ground up with our own sensors in order to get the long battery life we were trying to achieve.