Striiv has announced early user metrics and the numbers are positive news for Striiv and the mobile health market at large. I first wrote about back Striiv  back in September before the device hit the market. Striiv is a keychain that doubles as a pedometer on steroids with the ability to differentiate between different varieties of physical activity such as walking on flat ground and walking up or down stairs. This activity data is logged and translated into virtual rewards for the purpose of motivating users to choose to be consistently more active in their daily routine over time.

Striiv believes its success is due to its well crafted incentive scheme, the motivational elements of the device which constantly reinforce the positive decision to be more active in one’s daily routine.

“There is a handful of gadgets geared to health like Nike’s Fuelband, which claims ‘life’s a sport'”, said David Wang, Striiv CEO. “But we are for everyday busy people, who may not have time for the gym, or aren’t athletes. Striiv fits into any schedule; making it fun and meaningful is the key.”

According to posts on GigaOM and VentureBeat, after merely 12 weeks of gathering user data Striiv reports encouraging metrics;

  • The majority of users check in on their Striiv every day and monitor their activity throughout the course of the day regularly;
  • The majority of users check their results about 29 times every day to see how many steps they walked, nearly as many times as they check their email (34 times on average);
  • Users who unlock Striiv 34 times per day (just as often as they use email) walk 69 percent more than users who unlock Striiv five times a day;
  • On average users are walking nearly 60 minutes per day, breaking down to about 3 miles and eight flights of stairs.

Quite simply, Striiv believes that the act of helping others is central to the goal of improving oneself, which has led them to create digital “walkathons” that trigger donations to one of three charities based on the following milestones; (1) 60,000 steps = one polio vaccine for a child in India; (2) 18,000 steps = one day of water for a child in Bolivia; and (3) 18,000 steps = preservation of one parking spot size of the Tanzanian rainforest. By using a combination of game mechanics and altruistic rewards the company may have discovered a potent formula for spurring consumer engagement with mobile health devices.

It was unclear if the company collects data on user demographics but I think it would be interesting to see how usage breaks down comparatively between male and female users, for example, I wonder if the socially conscious theme of the Striiv model would be particularly attractive to women. We look forward to future updates to see if these good early user engagement data hold up over time.