It's All a Game
The Striiv doesn't just count your steps -- it encourages you to take more of them. It has several incentives designed to turn a couch potato into an active person.
Like several other fitness gadgets, the Striiv keeps track of your activity and lets you know when you've surpassed a previous day's efforts. Each time you climb more stairs, take more steps or stay active longer than you have on any previous day, the Striiv makes a note of it and gives you a virtual trophy. This lets you challenge yourself to beat earlier records.
The Striiv also has challenges built into the device. There are five-minute challenges that relate to the number of steps you've taken, stairs you've climbed, minutes of activity you've engaged in and calories you've burned. Each challenge encourages you to put in five more minutes of effort. You're rewarded with bonus points that you can apply to other features in the Striiv.
You can also navigate to different challenges on the Striiv's main menu. Each challenge screen presents you with tasks that fall into easy, medium and difficult categories. If you don't like what the Striiv has picked out, you can choose to have three new challenges appear. Like the five-minute challenges, these tasks reward you with points if you successfully complete them within the allotted time.
What can you do with the points? The Striiv includes a game called "Myland," which bears a similarity to some games you'll find on social networks. Within "Myland," you use coins and energy to build structures and plants in an effort to bring life to an island. You earn energy through activities. As you build out your island, you'll earn coins, which you can use to buy more items. You can also trade in energy for coins. To advance in the game you have to stay active in real life -- that's how you earn more energy.
You can also put your steps toward helping out a charity. Striiv partners with charitable efforts and other corporations. As you hit certain milestones -- they're different for each charity -- Striiv and its corporate partners donate money to one of the charities they've selected. At launch, those charities included a polio vaccine fund for children in India, a rainforest preservation charity in Tanzania and a clean water campaign for Bolivia.
Here's how it works: The Striiv counts your steps. When you get to a certain number -- for the clean water campaign it's 18,000 steps -- you can connect your Striiv to your computer to synchronize it. Your computer sends the information to Striiv's servers and the charity receives a donation from your efforts. Those 18,000 steps now become a day's worth of clean water for a child in Bolivia.
Striiv doesn't have the same features and specs as other cutting-edge fitness gadgets on the market. But perhaps with its focus on gaming and charitable efforts, it doesn't need them.