How the Dhyana ring 2 wants to make meditation available at your fingertips


When we think of meditation, focus, time, and a quiet place to breathe assume prime importance. But it is easier said than done in our hectic lives. That’s what Avantari Technologies is hoping to change with its Dhyana Ring 2, a product designed to make meditation available at one’s fingertips and literally. The new version of the ring can track the quality of a meditation session and also alert users on when it might be time to meditate. “The reason why most of us don’t take meditation on a serious level is that we are all victims of convenience. If meditation was more convenient for you to access, then you probably would do it more often than not,” Bhairav Shankar, MD, Avantari Technologies, told indianexpress.com.

Shankar pointed out that data from the company’s earlier ring showed a 70 per cent retention rate among those who bought it and, in fact, still use it for meditation. In comparison, the company’s Dhyana app—to which both versions of the ring can connect—has a 15-20 per cent retention. According to Shankar, the reason for this glaring difference is simple. With the Dhyana Ring, users had something they could easily slip onto their finger and then track their meditation, compared to an app. That’s why the ring continues to be popular, he said.

The new Dhyana Ring 2 is currently in the pre-order phase at a price of Rs 24,999. The company fulfilled the first set of 1000 orders in November, and the product remains sold out. The ring, which has a more polished brushed metal aluminium body, can be worn daily and has a five-day battery life. It has a small LED light on the front, one that glows when Dhyana tells the wearer it is perhaps time for the user to meditate.

Meditation, Dhyana Ring 2, Dhyana Ring 2 specifications, Dhyana Ring 2 pre-orders

It can also track sleep, activity, and blood oxygen levels as well, but the focus is on meditation and mental wellness. The product is available in five different sizes for now. But the company claims it can actually expand to fit varying sizes given there’s a cut in the middle. The slit is a deliberate design decision, according to Shankar, meant to ensure that the ring grips the bottom part of one’s finger. This also allows the company to capture data more regularly and accurately.

But how does the Dhyana ring track one’s meditation and focus? And how does the company quantify one’s meditation session? The answer lies in looking at heart rate variability data, which Shankar called a ‘very simple metric’, but one that can decode how the heart responds to stress and other factors. Heart rate variability (HRV) is typically the amount of time between your heartbeats and this fluctuates slightly. A higher fluctuation can indicate conditions such as anxiety among other things and research has shown that regular meditations can help reduce these fluctuations.

Meditation, Dhyana Ring 2, Dhyana Ring 2 specifications, Dhyana Ring 2 pre-orders

“We created this entire algorithm that uses heart rate variability to capture your breathing, focus, and relaxation. We want to know the time that is there between individual consecutive pulses. Why do these pulses keep changing so often? It is all connected to your autonomic nervous system and your mind. Your heart rate behaves differently under stress, differently when you are calmer,” Shankar said.

The company claims it is capable of getting continuous high-quality data on HRV with its ring. If a user sets a daily meditation target of say 20 minutes, the ring will also be able to tell whether this was achieved or not. For instance, if one were to meditate for 30 minutes, but only 15 minutes of meditation was actually in full attention or focus, the ring will be able to quantify this and reflect it in the connected Dhyana app.

The ability to track both the mindful minutes and quality of meditation are patented features since the first version of the company’s ring. With the second version, the company claims Dhyana gets another patent—the ability to track the vagal tone. This is another cardiovascular function that measures response to environmental challenges—say increased stress.

When it comes to sleep and activity tracking, the ring is fairly accurate, according to Shankar, though he admitted that there is always scope for improvement on the step count front. For sleep data, Avantara Technologies worked for nearly four and a half months with a sleep clinic in Hyderabad to ensure that the algorithm was accurate. Like other trackers, the Dhyana Ring 2 gives a daily score to users on how well they slept.

But is the ring only for those who are deeply into meditating? Shankar said their experience with the first product has shown that many who picked up the device were new to meditation as a journey. The way the company has envisioned it, the Dhyana ring could become an important tool in helping with overall wellness. Shankar pointed out how other health-tech platforms—some involved with diabetic care—have also reached out to them for partnerships as such a product could be useful to their clients as well. With diabetics, in particular, doctors often emphasise the need to manage and control stress, an area where meditation can play a key role.

“Why are these companies suddenly so interested in a ring and not let’s say, a watch that’s already in the market, one they can pick it up easily from China? Because Dhyana is focusing on holistic wellness. Your mental health also becomes important. Sleep is equally as important. We see ourselves as a conduit for these companies to reach out to more people,” Shankar said.





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