Striiv gaming pedometer gets socially wireless

If you can't get motivated to exercise for your own good, do it because you're competitive and want to beat your friends and family. That's the message from Striiv, whose digital touchscreen pedometer has been upgraded with a new short-range wireless technology called Striiv Connected, in the process turning personal fitness into a competition through various mini-games.

Those games, like Farmville on Facebook, encourage piecemeal play throughout the day, in the hope of encouraging people to exercise more frequently. Challenges between Striiv users can be set up, such as increasing your daily walking by a certain amount, and then the Striiv pedometers automatically work out who was the winner and assigns prizes such as chore forfeits for the losers.

Meanwhile, more long-term stats over the lifetime use of the device are also collected, with an online leaderboard that's socially-enabled as well. Striiv has a Farmville-esque game called Myland, in which players can earn new characters, plants and buildings by exercising.

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According to Striiv, the average user is now walking 90 minutes or the equivalent of 3 miles every day, as well as checking the pedometer "dozens" of times. The new Striiv goes on sale today online, and will show up in Best Buy stores on April 29, priced at $99.95.