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MDWorkout Gear Bag: Striiv Pedometer

Sep 7th, 2012
Zoe Sophos

Striiv is a pedometer with some twists.Striiv is a smart pedometer that tracks steps and rewards you for achieving fitness goals with games, links you to social media and donates in your name to charity. It channels the crisp white design and color touch screen of an iPhone, feels like a Tamagotchi and acts like a Game Boy that can Tweet. All in the guise of helping you get fit.

Using Striiv ($99.95), you can challenge your friends to races, track each others' progress and post directly to Facebook or Twitter. Adding steps will unlock coins and powers to be used in games like MyLand, where you decorate your own enchanted island. And in case connecting with your friends while earning virtual trophies isn’t enough motivation to take the stairs instead of the elevator, Striiv will donate to charity if you reach predetermined walking goals: 10,000 steps, for example, translates to a day’s worth of water for a child in South America, through partner company GlobalGiving.

Striiv’s home screen reveals a running tally of steps for the day. Press the unlock sign and swipe left or right to see the equivalent stairs climbed, miles walked, calories burned and the time it took on a convenient display. We quickly got hooked on checking our stats and playing the games. Being able to transform daily activities into virtual accomplishments provides a rush of satisfaction. We were also impressed with the accuracy of the counting mechanism — it can detect hills and counts uphill steps as stairs. But we don’t recommend taking Striiv on a bike ride because every bump in the road will offset your real step total.

The two-inch-tall device weighs a little more than one ounce and comes with a detachable key ring and belt clip, but it’s small enough to throw in a pocket or purse without being cumbersome. Illustrated tutorials on the product’s website walk you through the syncing process, which is necessary before the product will start up. Fully charged, Striiv’s battery can endure up to a week. Our main hardware-related complaint is the touch screen’s lack of sensitivity. Choosing an icon usually requires digging forcefully into the screen with a fingernail, but at least the device is safe from accidental tampering when it’s stashed somewhere.

What sets Striiv apart from other pedometers and fitness apps is its real-world relevance. It lets you know when you’ve walked the equivalent of the Golden Gate Bridge or burned off the calories in a cupcake. It will brag to your friends about your progress while making the world a better place by donating to those in need. We found room for a few technical improvements, but if you’re looking for extra motivation to park at the far end of the lot, Striiv may be just the spark you need.

MDWorkout.com


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