Wearables are a growing trend in today's market. There are smartwatches that can display information from your phone, but even more popular are devices that can track your daily activities. These activity trackers aren't cheap, though, with the average price being around $130.
Seattle-based startup Pivotal Living is looking to turn the industry on its head with its new Life Tracker 1 activity tracker. Taking a unique approach, the activity tracker will be free with a $12 yearly subscription for access to the company's mobile app, which will be available for free on Android
You must be thinking that surely such a cheap device will be relatively poor quality. I was thinking it would be like something you would get from a Happy Meal, but I can assure you that is not the case. From the brief time I spent with it, I noticed the Life Tracker 1 wasn't only stylish, but it also appears to have a build quality similar to some of the most popular devices on the market. In fact, the small wrist-based band is quite similar to the dozens of other trackers out there. With the help of a 3-axis accelerometer it can track your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, and sleep. You can show the time and scroll through all of your data on the device's OLED screen by pressing a small button on the top of the tracker.
Pivotal even included one of my favorite features, a silent alarm that will vibrate to wake you up in the morning. The company rates battery life at 5 to 7 days and a full charge takes only 60 minutes to complete. One of the downsides with the Life Tracker 1 is that it's "water resistant" and not fully waterproof. It won't stop working if it gets splashed while you're doing the dishes, but extended exposure to water isn't recommended, which means no showering or swimming with it.
The mobile app is colorful and seems very user friendly. It gives you detailed information about your data, in addition to allowing you to set goals and track your daily hydration and weight. The app is also a social platform, allowing users to create and join teams with friends or like minded individuals. You can then message other friends or team members and even share your activity data with them.
But what happens after the first year with the Life Tracker 1? What if you don't like the tracker, then what? Do you have to give it back? The answer is no. You can throw it in your desk or continue wearing it without paying the subscription. Some features, such as the silent alarm, won't work and you won't be able to view data on the app, but you can still view your steps and other data right on the device itself.
Happy customers can put down another $12 after 12 months to continue using the mobile app. Pivotal will even include another band with your renewed subscription, or you can continue using your existing one. There are no hidden charges and no plans to increase the price. Even when the company releases a new tracker, Pivotal will allow you to upgrade at the end of your yearly cycle for no extra charge.
The Life Tracker 1 is available now for preorder from Pivotal Living's website. The company expects devices to ship in early December. Unlike some other products that never seem to meet their delivery deadline, Pivotal Living co-founder David Donovick assured me devices will arrive in time for the holidays.
Our full review of the Life Tracker 1 will be posted in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.