If you've been following the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle love story every step of the way, then you've probably seen the black ring on Harry's right hand ring finger that's been popping up in pictures recently. Since I consider myself something of a sleuth, I thought the ring might have something to do with the royal couple's recent baby news. But the actual meaning behind Prince Harry's black ring, called the Oura Ring, is less symbolic and more functional than that.
On Oct. 17, PEOPLE confirmed that this thick black band on Prince Harry's finger isn't a second wedding ring, nor is it something to celebrate the little royal on the way. Rather, according to the outlet, it's actually a wearable, activity-tracking device called the Oura Ring. As per the product's website, the ring is an advanced, body-monitoring tool that basically functions like a multipurpose fitness tracker, but you wear it around your finger instead of on your wrist. The ring "tracks you 24/7 so you can build an accurate, insightful baseline of information about yourself from which you can grow and improve," the website explains.
TBH, this ring definitely isn't cheap — with four colors and two styles starting at $299 and going up to $999 — but I can't deny that it's a pretty dang high-tech device for tracking pretty much all of your health goals.
The Oura Ring seems like it's particularly useful if you've been dealing with any type of sleep problems. Because the tool is heat-sensitive and continuously tracks your body temperature, according to the product's website, it provides a detailed analysis about your sleep cycles, which you can then use to create a sleep routine that works specifically for your body. Wearing the Oura to bed also allows it to gather information about when and how often you enter deeper versus lighter sleep cycles, as well as data on how many times, if at all, you wake up throughout the night.
But the Oura Ring isn't just perfect for bedtime. If you like to stay as active as Prince Harry, the gadget also offers a variety of fitness features to keep your movement goals on track. One unique feature of this ring, according to its website, is that it works with your sleep statistics to tailor how active your body should be, depending on whether you're well rested or spent the previous night tossing and turning. In addition to tracking steps and activities and sending you gentle reminders to stretch your legs every once in a while, Oura builds information about your individual workout routine, making sure to factor in healthy recovery and rest days.
Even more interesting, IMO, is the feature that Oura calls "Readiness." According to the ring's website, the device's temperature-tracking ability can go so far as to "find out early signs of impending sickness, a need to rest, or detect menstrual cycle stages." Basically, by analyzing factors like breathing, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability (i.e. how your body recovers from exercise, stress, fatigue, etc.), the Readiness panel helps you understand if you might be up for an intense workout, or if it could be better to take the day to relax. Of course, only you know best if your body is ready to work out, but having some data to help explain why you're feeling the way you are might be useful in guiding you.
There you have it, folks. The mystery has been solved. Now, it's time to think more about the mystery of why I didn't meet and fall in love with Prince Harry.