Striiv Launches Portable Health Device That Blends Fitness With Gaming

Striiv is launching a new device today that blends gaming, fitness, and more. The device itself is a little larger than an Apple Nano, and includes a high-resolution color screen. Striiv acts partly as a pedometer to track your activity and also allows you to play games, and use your activity to donate to charities.

The device, which you can attach to a keychain or to a belt, tracks simple daily interactions like walking, taking the stairs, or exercise, and each activity earns, tracks and transforms your activities into games and donations. With Striiv every step counts toward a donation to charity. At launch, Striiv is partnering with GlobalGiving to donate clean water to children in South America or a polio vaccine to a child in India.

Striiv’s games are completely powered by physical activity. In the device’s first game, MyLand, the more you move, the more your enchanted island fills with exotic wildlife and plants. More games will be added in the future. You can also unlock rewards and bonuses for simple activities like walking to lunch or taking the stairs, or crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.

As for why Striiv’s founders, who both previously worked at social gaming company Booyah, decided to create and build a device as opposed to developing a native app, the startup says that they wanted to build a tracker that was ‘always on’ and could track all activity.

So the company developed a proprietary ‘TruMotion’ technology that works in the background of the device and can sense if you are walking, running, and even climbing stairs or hiking. Additionally, Striiv comes with an web-based platform and can be connected to an online portal via a computer USB port to upgrade new applications, charities, and games, or post updates to Facebook. Striiv will be formally rolled out in mid-October, and will retail for $99. While the startup declined to give specifics about where it will be sold, it did say that Striiv has a number of high-profile national retail partnerships in place.

Striiv’s co-founder David Wang says the device is focused on appealing to a mainstream audience, particularly women. He believes the combination of gaming mechanics with real world activities (with no input required) is the killer combo that can revolutionize the fitness device space.

Investors seem to agree as well. The startup has raised $6 million from iD Ventures and a number of angel investors.