Srtiiv is a company that “strives” to make fitness fun for all. They recently released a device (also called Striiv) that tracks when you’re walking, running, or climbing stairs on a device that fits conveniently on your keychain or in your pocket.
We saw a demo of Stiiv back in September at the Medicine 2.0 Summit, but we managed to get our hands on one of these fun devices to review. With all these new smart fitness trackers coming out, what makes Striiv so special?
Unboxing and Design
Whereas FitBit and Jawbone’s UP decided to flaunt their beauty behind transparent plastic, Striiv’s packaging was more subdued; a plain white box with a picture of a powered up Striiv device graced the front, somewhat reminiscent of the box for an iPhone or iPad.
Inside, we were greeted with the actual Stiiv device sitting on top of a number of included accessories. You get a belt holster, a couple of screen protectors, quickstart guide, keychain adapter, micro-USB cable, and USB power adapter. One thing to note is that the Striiv’s power adapter is nearly identical to the power adapter you’ll find on an iPhone.
While this is not only somewhat unoriginal from a design standpoint, it could be confusing, as both adapters have different power outputs for their respective devices. Be aware if you’re both a Stiiv and iPhone user!
To be honest, we weren’t completely awed by the design of the Striiv. It’s a white, plain-looking plastic device that looks similar to a Tamogatchi toy. It’s not bad, but compared to the Jawbone UP and the FitBit Ultra, it looks a little dated. You get a keychain adapter to place the Striiv with your keys, but the combination is probably too large for many to keep in a pocket. You can also put the Striiv in an included belt clip. Interestingly, the sticker on the belt clip showing us how to place the Striiv in the holster was upside-down…
There are 3 buttons on the device: a silver on/off button at the top and a couple buttons at the bottom of the front face of the device. Everything else is done using the touchscreen. And about the touchscreen: it’s interesting that Striiv repeatedly emphasizes applying firm pressure on the touchscreen when using it. It seems in an age of capacitative touchscreens that are found on smartphones, Striiv has to remind us that a light tap of the finger won’t do for its tiny, resistive touchscreen. On the other hand, you are able to use a fingernail and other finger substitutes just fine. Since Striiv knows the screen might go through a lot of abuse, they’ve included a couple adhesive screen protectors to keep it scratch free.
The outside of the device may look plain, but we’ll admit that we had fun playing with the colorful interface. There’s a lot of features and screens to explore, but the touchscreen interface made things pretty easy to use. Upon pressing any button on the Stiiv, you get a screen that shows how many steps you’ve taken so far. “Unlocking” the screen allows you to swipe through to view other statistics, including equivalent stairs, miles, calories burned, and “energy points”. You also immediately see things such as achievements, which are pre-set goals that you can track. The bottom half of each screen displays notifications of other Striiv features, such as “Myland” and “Causes”.
“Myland” is somewhat of a built-in game that allows you to develop a fantasy kingdom using your fitness stats. Your energy points, earned from performing fitness activities with Striiv, allow you to build structures, plantlife, and buildings. Each specific structure/plantlife/building will earn you coins after a certain amount of time, which in turn will help you build more stuff. It’s an interesting feature; while it didn’t particularly motivate us, it did manage to keep us entertained for a while. The Myland game is also one of the features that takes advantage of the Striiv’s tiny speaker on the back. We felt a little embarrassed when sounds started playing while checking Myland in a public setting, but fortunately, you can adjust the volume to attract less attention.
We think the most unique feature of the Striiv is its causes (called Walkathon on the Striiv). Striiv partnered with GlobalGiving to use your fitness stats for charity. You can choose to use your energy points towards one of three charitable causes: donating polio vaccinations, a day’s worth of clean water to South American school children, or a parking spot size area of
Tanzanian rainforest for a year. It’s a lot of work to be able to make a donation (one polio vaccine is 60,000 steps), but we think it’s a great feature and look forward to seeing how much Striiv users have contributed.
If developing your own virtual land or even exercising for a cause isn’t your thing, the Striiv is able to track your fitness histories with daily, weekly, and monthly numbers, averages, and personal bests. You can even check your statistics against the national average.
Design opinions aside, we think the Striiv is a really fun device to use. Its colorful screen, personalized gaming feature, and easy to use touchscreen could especially be a hit for kids who need more motivation to exercise. The touchscreen interface offers a lot of potential for future features as well; possible additions such as social networking features and more causes can be easily added through the mini-USB connector on the Striiv. We think future enhancements will also add value to the Striiv, which is currently priced at a somewhat costly, but competitive $99.
Product page: Striiv…