04/06/2019

It's the ring that motivates you to fitness.

The Motiv ring is just that a ring, however it has many features associated with much bigger devices that you'd expect to wear on your wrist. It counts steps and activity, measures your heart rate (well pulse rate using an optical system on the inner section of the ring) and sleep.

Here's everything it tracks

  • Active Minutes
  • Resting Heart Rate
  • Activity Types
  • Calories Burned
  • Activity Intensity
  • Steps
  • Distance
  • Sleep Duration

The ring is made from Titanium and comes in black, silver and rose gold and US sizes from 6 to 12. Remarkably, there's battery inside that can last for a couple of days and it charges in about 90 minutes (it comes with a USB charger that magnetically pulls the ring into the correct charging position so the contacts align).

There's a companion app (Android and iOS) that has all the display functions as the ring just has an RGB LED on the outside of the ring under a transparent strip.

It works with Apple Health and Google Fit and also Alexa.

The app has some Lab features, like take a picture of your hand next to a dime and it will estimate your ring size (which in future may mean you don't need to order the ring sizing kit). There's also a security feature where the ring measures your step cadence and then it can automatically be used to unlock apps etc.

Your achievements can be shared with friends on social media and with your inner circle (other Motiv users that you add). There's also a FindMyiPhone feature that is activated by twirling the ring around your finder.

One glaring thing missing is FindMyMotiv, if you lose the ring, there's no way to locate it. It would be really useful to put the ring into "lost mode" where the LED and maybe heart rate sensor is turned on, so it would be visible if dropped (unfortunately that's what occurred while playing sports in a park, so it was impossible to locate, if it flashed, it would have at least been possible to spot it as the sun went down).

People will know that quantified-self is something close to my heart and the Motiv definitely had the best sleep tracking of all the devices I've owned. It's also small and would suit people who don't want to wear bulky trackers that go on your wrist (so often asked "why are you wearing 2 watches?"), though as someone who's never worn a ring before, it's definitely noticeable wearing it (and more noticeable when you've lost it and it's no longer on your finger).

Having worn it for about 6 months, it did get a bit of a battering and there were some scratches and the black finish showed the titanium underneath, but a great inconspicuous fitness tracker.

It's recommended to purchase a Motiv ring sizing set that costs £99.99 (which is offset again the cost of the ring itself when that is purchased). The ring costs £199.99 (i.e. if you know your ring size, it's possible to just purchase the ring, or order the ring sizing set first and the cost of that will be taken off the ring when that's ordered).

Draytek Vigor 2860ac VDSL router

The Draytek Vigor 2860ac is a pretty advanced router with 6 internal Ethernet ports (Gb/s) and WiFi (802.11ac i.e. 2.4 and 5GHz).

There's a telephone port that has an ADSL2/VDSL2 modem supporting UK services like BT Infinity and there's another Ethernet port for WAN access (usually to drive a PPPoE modem) that can also be used to drive a back-up line.

The 2 USB ports can also be configured to support a 3G/LTE mobile connection (and configured to fail-over) or they can be used to host a disk and then share it over the network.

The WiFi is supported by three MIMO antennas supporting (in theory) 1,300Mb/s and 300Mb/s o 2.4GHz. It can also do a network scan and pick the most unused channels to optimise performance in your environment.

There are a huge range of configuration options that are accessed through a web interface (there's also console access where most things can be done through a CLI). These can be pretty daunting, though for a casual user most won't be used. By default there are several VLANs configured (though not enabled) and the LAN and Wireless will be configured to use 192.168.1.x and push out IP addresses via DHCP.

It's possible to use a 'real' IP block using the IP Routed connection, however the VLANs will still have their original settings and the router will internally still be connectable on the 192.168.1.1 (to most people it won't make a difference, but it can really confuse things when debugging stuff).

The web interface is arranged in reasonable easy to understand sections

  • Dashboard
  • Wizards Online Status
  • WAN
  • LAN
  • Hotspot Web Portal
  • Routing
  • NAT
  • Hardware Acceleration
  • Firewall
  • User Management
  • Objects Setting
  • CSM
  • Bandwidth Management
  • Applications
  • VPN and Remote Access
  • Certificate Management
  • Wireless LAN (2.4 GHz)
  • Wireless LAN (5 GHz)
  • SSL VPN
  • USB Application
  • System Maintenance
  • Diagnostics

Also

Central Management

  • VPN
  • AP
  • Switch
  • External Devices

And

Support Area

  • Product Registration

The router does support SIP functionality, but as with a lot of routers, it might be better just to let SIP stuff through and handle filtering on the actual VoIP devices. There's also a pretty good firewall, so incoming packets can be blocked at the network edge.

The router can be configured through the web interface and this is true for both connecting via the "Internet" and LAN sides of the network, which is useful if you need your ISP or systems integrator to configure something, but generally it's safer to have the WAN access turned off.

Oddly there was weird issue when configuring the Wireless LAN settings. In theory you can configure the 2.4GHz and settings will also be applied to the 5GHz radio, unfortunately (probably user error) something didn't quite work and though the SSIDs were identical, the password didn't seem to be copied across, so nothing could connect to 5GHz. Manually setting the password and everything worked.

It is possible to set a hotspot portal that can also be set to authenticate so allowing guests on to the network (and if VLANs are set can restrict bandwidth and such like).

The Vigor 2860 is a pretty capable router (though now replaced with the 2862).

The new model costs around £250.