May 16, 2017

It took some serious creativity from our engineers to eke out every nano-watt of power from our design in order to make Motiv Ring’s functionality possible in this form factor. The small size of the ring challenged us to design an extremely small battery, and with such a small battery we needed extremely power-efficient components and firmware (the software that’s embedded in our hardware). Motiv Ring is an extremely low-power device, about 10 times lower power than typical wearables. To give you an idea, it would take about 125,000 Motiv Rings to equal the power consumed by a 60W light bulb. Check out some of the things we did to cram all the functionality into Motiv Ring without sacrificing its slim design.

Like many wearables, Motiv Ring uses BLE – Bluetooth low energy – to communicate with your phone. The Ring’s Bluetooth uses one of the lowest powered transceivers on the market. We achieve the low power through intelligent syncing – we transmit a small amount of data every several minutes and remain in “sleep mode” the rest of the time. Fun sidenote on our Bluetooth functionality – if the Ring cannot find your phone, it will store the data for up to 5 days until it can sync again. You don’t have to be tethered to your phone, you can exercise or sleep without it!

Over the past several years, compute power has increased, while power consumption and component size have decreased. Additionally, through innovations in packaging and construction, we were able to increase battery capacity to a level that facilitates a stunning battery life with these low power processors. We’ve now come to the point of millimeter-size chips that can be crammed into a small space and perform on a level that is comparable to wearables that are ten times larger.

Motiv Ring uses two processors to both receive and transmit data while continuously sampling sensors. Through the use of carefully-designed and thoroughly tested firmware, we only use the processors when necessary, thus conserving sizable amounts of power. Many sensor manufacturers are integrating processors along with their sensors, which makes the sensors larger and limits the ability to build a small product. Motiv Ring uses discrete sensors to place as many components as possible in a very compact space while retaining all of the functionality required to deliver an extremely accurate product.

Heart Rate Sensor
In order to maximize our battery life we optimized our system to sample heart rate when it matters most. When the ring senses elevated activity, the heart rate sensor activates. For all those times you’re not active, we sample your heart rate every few minutes, and if your heart rate becomes elevated, we engage the sensor to track continuously for the duration of your activity. You can find a deep dive into tracking your heart rate with Motiv Ring here.

Motiv Ring doesn’t vibrate or have a screen for notifications. This was a deliberate design choice – we wanted to be unintrusive, something “invisible” that blends into your life. We believe you don’t need more distractions. Until we see value in providing notifications via vibration or screen, we won’t bug you with them. Instead, we utilize our app to provide all notifications through your phone – a much better screen that you always have on you – as we believe this is a less obtrusive, and therefore improved, experience. The Smart LED on the Ring will blink at certain times to signal syncing or low battery, but aside from that all interaction happens via the Motiv App.

The question of safety comes up frequently when talking about connected devices, especially wearables. Keep in mind that Motiv Ring emits such a low amount of energy – significantly less than Bluetooth headsets for example, which experts agree are safe to wear. Even your cell phone emits watts of power, whereas with Motiv Ring we’re talking milliwatts.

If you have any more questions for our engineers, ask us on Facebook or Twitter, or check out our specs page