After soliciting input on what pedometer to buy, I went ahead and dropped the $100 on the Striiv. I looked at the Fitbit, which has excellent online synchronization and tracking capabilities, but it lacked the motivational and gamification components that I liked about the Striiv.
Here you can see the Striiv offering me something known as a push challenge. Occasionally, you’ll unlock the screen to find an offer you can’t refuse. In this case, the pedometer is telling me that I’ve done 192 stairs today. If I will commit to raising that number to 252 in the next 10 minutes, it’ll give me 9000 bonus energy points. To make sure I’m invested in the challenge, it is asking me to wager 750 energy points that I’ve already earned today. I didn’t take the Striiv up on this offer, as I wasn’t around any stairs. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.
Another way the Striiv offers challenges is by offering you easy, medium, and hard challenges to select from. This screen shows that I’ve completed my day’s allotment of hard challenges. By pressing the Spin button at the bottom, random challenges are presented. If you decide to take it up on the challenge, you will put down a small amount of energy in return for a larger payoff if you complete the task. In this case, I did decide to walk for five more minutes to earn the points. You can complete 8 easy, 4 medium, and 4 hard challenges in a day in addition to the push challenges that the device offers to you.
What are all of these energy points good for? To spend in My Land, of course! I describe it as a FarmVille-like game in which you plant and build in order to attract inhabitants. Here you can see a bush, a pond, and some sort of structure. You can also see several inhabitants, which wave at you when you tap them. To grow or build requires energy that you get from walking, running, doing stairs, and completing challenges. Walking earns the least energy, while stairs rewards you with the most. In this view, you can see that I have almost 109,000 energy points available to build or grow with.
Each element in the game that you grow or build matures into coins that can be collected and spent on further features. Knowing that you have coins ready to collect causes you to interact with the device. More times than not, when I go to collect coins I find a push challenge waiting on me. The challenges are geared to your ability, so you’re not challenged to run a marathon if you can barely get to the mailbox.
Another feature of the Striiv that sets it apart from the competition is its altruistic component. Called a Virtual Walkathon, the more I move, the more I unlock matching donations from sponsors who have agreed to donate clean water, polio vaccinations, and rainforest preservation efforts. The 3 at the bottom of this screen indicates that in addition to the half full (or is it half empty) glass displayed, I have 3 completed glasses waiting to be donated the next time I sync my Striiv with the computer.
In addition to tracking your steps, stairs, minutes, calories, and miles, the Striiv also keeps weekly and monthly histories that can be called up at any time on the device. When you exceed your previous average or maximum, it rewards you with bonus points. When you’re lagging behind your previous averages, it encourages you with challenges. It’s like a friendly personal trainer in your pocket.
Speaking of pockets, Striiv can ride on your belt with the included clip, it can attach to your keys with the included keychain, or it can ride in your pocket or purse. The consensus on the Internet is that the most accurate figures come when it is attached to your belt, so that’s where I keep mine.
When it’s plugged into your computer, the Striiv syncs your data with their servers, providing for online backups of your movement history, and also updating its internal averages. Striiv will tell you how you’re doing compared to the average Striiv user. As a bonus, Striiv charges when it’s plugged into the computer, although it also comes with a charger that will plug into any outlet.
Unlike the Fitbit, Striiv does not have robust online data features. You cannot enter your food intake history online. You can’t view your charts and stats on the computer. You can’t share your trophies with others. It’s a great tool for individual data collection and motivation, but Fitbit runs rings around it in the online integration department.
I have to go… my Pedometer wants me to do 7 more minutes of activity before the hour is up.