The FitBit brand may be synonymous with the idea of fitness trackers, but they’re about to (possibly) meet their match. San Francisco startup Motiv is producing the fitness tracker 2.0: a metal ring that tracks your steps, distance travelled, calories burned, active and resting heart rate, and sleep time.
Founded in 2013 by Michael Strasser, Eric Strasser, Curt von Badinski, and Peter Twiss, Motiv has received $20.18 million in funding from Granite Ventures, Soda Rock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and more.
The tracking capabilities are nothing new, really. What is new is the targeting of a specific niche: people wanting to stay healthy without having to wear a big, bulky device.
Motiv sends each customer a ring sizing kit and suggests they wear the trial ring for a full day to allow for normal expansions and contractions. If you share the kit with someone else, they get $20 off when they order their own ring—and Motiv gets another customer without having to send another sizing kit.
After the customer has their size, Motiv sends them a properly-sized ring in their choice of either slate grey or rose gold that can sync with the tracking app (only available for iOS at the moment).
The initial reviews have been quite positive, especially for a startup’s first launch. Even Tech Crunch’s Brian Heater, originally a skeptic, came away from a Motiv experience suitably impressed.
“The Motiv succeeds in its goal surprisingly well,” Heater wrote. “It’s the first product from a brand new startup in a largely untested form factor. But it gets the job done. It’s discreet and capable, and it doesn’t try to overreach, boiling fitness tracking down to its basics–out of necessity, given the product’s small size.”
That doesn’t mean there aren’t still some bugs. Richard Easton of Trusted Reviews noted that the ring scratches easily, and the step counter and sleep tracker are both slightly inaccurate.
Still, it’s an impressive beginning for a Silicon Valley tech startup that has some pretty big shoes to fill.