News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Star.21: The smart wristband gamifying health and fitness raises seven times its pledged amount

The forecast for wearable technology looks eerily reminiscent of the period when mobile phones were making the transition from communication device to everything-device. There may still be some scepticism around wearable tech, but the utility of these devices is growing rapidly. Juniper Research forecasts that the retail revenue from smart wearable devices will reach $19 billion by 2018. Locally, Australian research firm Telsyte has predicted Australians will spend more than $1 billion on wearables, including smartwatches, wristbands and glasses by 2016. Given these numbers, it’s no wonder that tech entrepreneurs are all over this trend.

When it comes to wearable tech in the health and fitness space, there are already some well-established players – a prime example being FitBit, the wireless activity and sleep wristband. But a Singapore-headquartered startup has decided to take it one step further. OAXIS, the company that’s currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible for its latest offering Star.21, believes that novelties subside. So for wearable devices to survive in a rapidly-evolving consumer landscape, they will need to offer a unique experience.

The OAXIS team created Star.21 after recognising the value of gamification in health and fitness, especially at a time where people live fast-paced lifestyles.

“People want to be instantly satisfied, and there are too many distractions that throw us off our fitness plans in this day and age,” says the OAXIS team. “We understood that and wanted to make something to help people to get healthy, despite busy lifestyles.

“As members from the Oaxis company have a variety of skills from engineering to industrial design, we wanted to create something we believe would gain massive traction from users utilising our abilities to their utmost potential.”

gamification

The Star.21 fitness band gamifies the user’s overall commitment to exercising, adopting healthy sleeping patterns and eating well. It tracks whether users are ahead or behind on their personal health and fitness goals.

“Using the 21 days habit formations concept, people can complete a guided list of milestones which turns tasks into fitness habits that will become second nature,” the OAXIS team explains.

“The human brain is capable of rewiring itself in 21 days to establish new neural pathways through repetitive actions, hence long-lasting habits can be formed.”

Pozible’s PR Coordinator Jess Sommers told Startup Daily that the ‘gamified’ experience is “a perfect intertwining of fitness and gaming, using similar milestones you experience in ‘Call of Duty’ (a first-person and third-person shooter video game).”

“Gamers can use their already familiar habits from experiences on consoles and computers to put into their fitness regime. How it helps users get through the 21 days and the targets they must achieve is set up like a game is; with a ‘bow-bow’ failing prompt or ‘hooray’ gaining bonus points,” Sommers adds.

That’s not to say that non-gamers are left behind. Star.21 also targets non-gamers, who will likely appreciate the visual features of the wristband – for example the LEDs.

“The combination of band and app means you can be constantly updated with information on what you need to achieve to reach the next step, and people remain entertained from the visually attractive graphics on the interface to see out their healthy journey to ensure those habits are set in stone,” says Sommers.

The Star.21 fitness band has 15 days of battery life, 7 days of data backup, an anti-sweat and splash-proof design, 21 LEDs, and best of all, can be charged via the most universal charging option used with most smartphones – the trustee USB.

OAXIS was also cautious about minimising the risk of skin allergies, so they used biocompatible thermoplastic polyurethane material.

“We didn’t want to just make another fitness device, it needed to be fashionable as well as wearable, which is why it incorporates the best materials … [and] has been formulated as lightweight and unnoticeable to wearers,” the OAXIS team says.

The fitness band also connects to an app called ‘LifeBalanz’ – available on iTunes and Google Play, which syncs data and guides users through their first 21 days.

When asked about why they chose to launch on a crowdfunding platform, the OAXIS team said they needed to ensure there was sufficient market demand prior to sending Star.21 off for mass production in Shenzhen, China.

The technology is seeing traction with people globally. In the past week, it has shot up in its support pledge from 300 to almost 500 percent. In fact, OAXIS raised more than seven times it’s goal of CNY¥100,000 (approximately AUD$17,300), currently sitting at over CNY¥750,000 (AUD$130,400).

Although Pozible is headquartered in Australia, co-founder Rick Chen said they’ve been supporting more and more emerging technology companies from China. “They bring low-cost and interesting tech products to the market which is a massive appeal to buyers,” he said.

The Star.21 fitness band will be retailing at approximately AUD$95 after the campaign finishes, but can be purchased on Pozible for $51 over the next two days.





Startup Daily