Fitness and activity trackers are appealing to a wider audience of people than ever, and as such a range of manufacturers are developing products in the hopes of snagging a corner of this hugely attractive marketplace. We’ve seen some very different strategies of how to accomplish this in recent months, with some companies opting to target niche audiences with highly specialized products, and others favouring a more general device that will meet the needs of the majority. The Striiv Touch certainly falls into the latter category, but offers such a wide range of services and functionality that it might just have a chance of targeting several different niche audiences as it goes.
From the looks of the device, it’s very much a standard wearable—somewhere between a smartwatch and an activity tracker for anyone familiar with wearables. It’s rather apt that the device is instantly recognizable as being of the same ilk as these devices, as both act as inspiration for various aspects of the functionality of the Striiv Touch. The fact that it is worn like a bracelet allows it to fulfil all of these tasks very comfortably, being able to relay smartwatch-like notifications quickly and easily to its wearer thanks to being upon the risk, and also being able to take advantage of its position on your body to monitor your movement accurately and effectively.
All this adds up to a sleek system that will likely take the place of your current smartwatch as well as your current activity tracker. The excellent battery life of up to five days, the slim physical design of the device and the well-integrated touch screen input that it employs all come together very well to make this a very compelling option for anyone looking to consolidate their wearables into one fully-featured device. However, what really makes the Striiv Touch so impressive is what it does beyond all this. It would perhaps have been enough to just come up with a device that handily performs both the functions of an activity tracker and smartwatch and leave it there, but what will no doubt get people talking about the Striiv Touch is the new bits and pieces of functionality that it brings to the table for itself.
First off is the presence of some sleep tracking functionality out of the box. Wearing the device when you go to bed will allow you to record statistics on how long you sleep, and how good the sleep is that you’re getting that you can then look over on the companion Striiv smartphone app. This sort of feature is something of a no-brainer to go alongside fitness tracking functionality, but many devices either don’t offer it or require you to download a separate app to be able to track your sleep. That might be no big deal to some, but that fact that in this case it’s pre-loaded onto your device makes it seem like much more of a crucial part of the overall service that the Striiv is performing for you. It’s a small touch, but it’s a useful feature that many people will get a lot of usage out of.
Another potentially revolutionary feature is the focus on gaming experiences tied into the nuts and bolts of the device’s fitness tracking functionality. Plenty of devices offer head to head competitions with your friends or other such challenges, but often they are menu based and not too far removed from the basic stat tracking that the device performs anyway. The Striiv Touch turns exercise into play in a few different ways, with the MyLand fantasy game being perhaps the most fresh and exciting of the bunch. Cannily adopting some of the same mechanics as social games like Farmville and The Simpsons: Tapped Out!, MyLand allows you to construct your own kingdom filled with money groves, roaring tigers and soaring dragons. However, while many of these games give you the choice between waiting for your creations to be built or paying to hurry them up, MyLand only gives you one way of finding success—exercise.
The amount of steps that you walk or run will directly contribute to the construction of buildings and other objects in the game world itself. This might sound like something of a novelty, but in practice it’s really a rather excellent way of tracking your exercise without resorting to dry statistics. You might well not be the sort of person who could look at a chart of your last ten runs and take much inspiration from it—but having a castle that you built thanks to one particularly intense workout might be a particular point of pride. It might seem silly, but seeing the game it’s very easy to imagine how much fun it could be as a way of tracking your progress.
The Striiv Touch has a great foundation of activity tracker and smartwatch features that would be useful to just about anyone, but it builds upon that foundation with new ideas that will undoubtedly help it reach a wider audience. Neat touch screen input and features like sleep tracking certainly play their part, but it might just be MyLand that helps take this device over the top and into the mainstream. With the huge amount of people that play these types of games for no other reward than playing in of itself, it’s not difficult at all to imagine that this well-realised entry into the genre could be hugely successful as an exercise tool. If you’ve been looking for an activity tracker that adds a bit more fun to proceedings than just stats and charts, this is a device that’s well worth looking into. This sort of device shows that there are ample different ways to approach the wearable market and develop a product that’s going to get people talking—and it’s also great evidence that, despite the amount of huge companies moving into the sphere of wearables, there’s still space for lesser known companies to create a great product and find success with it. To learn more about the Striiv Touch, visit the official Striiv web site.