Smart Phones, WiFi, cars that park themselves, robot vacuums. There are a ton of gadgets out there…and I’m a gadget girl. The hubby insists I’m part raccoon, having lost track of the number of times I’ve been distracted by something shiny. I just can’t help myself. This is why I haven’t been inside an actual shopping mall in 2 years. I go inside to have a watch battery replaced for ten minutes and, instead, I emerge 6 hours later with a giant bag of gourmet popcorn, $80 worth of earrings, and a fart machine. I can’t help it.
It was only natural, then, for me to click on the link for a Yahoo! story about “must have gadgets” or some other horse pockey. I clicked through a few mildly amazing chotchkes before I found one that made me scootch closer to the monitor: the S2H Replay watch.
It’s sort of ridiculous looking, really. It looks like something you’d fish out of the $1 bin at Target…right between the flimsy plastic popcorn dishes and the bubble gum scented pencils. It doesn’t look like much – but the idea behind it is damn cool.
Basically, you strap it on your wrist and it tracks your physical movement. You earn a reward code every time it tracks 60 minutes of physical activity. Log into your free account at S2H.com and redeem your reward code for 60 points. Rack up the points and spend them on rewards…including a Nintendo Wii. Oh-em-gee!
I was kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-the-back-of-your-neck excited when I read about it. Wow! What a cool idea!! And the price? $20. Done deal, man! Done deal!!
Well, I’ve used it for a few days and I’ve got a much less “raccoony” view of the S2H Replay. A few basic facts: If the S2H Replay is picking up on physical activity, you see a little happy face on the screen. Sit on your ass too long and you get a sad face. You can redeem one code per 24 hours. Each code is worth 60 points.
What do I really think? Well, there’s no quick and dirty version of that…so here we go:
It’s basically a pedometer that sits on your wrist. Anyone who’s had a basic pedometer before knows that every time the little jiggly doohicky moves inside it, it counts a step. You can shake the S2H Replay and hear the jiggly doohicky dancing around. Therein lies the first problem: I talk with my hands. I’m also ambidextrous.
I was at work, explaining to a co-worker the many ways in which I fail to keep any kind of plant alive. Jiggle jiggle. I opened my desk drawer and put my scissors away. Jiggle. Reach under my desk, grab my purse, get quarters for a can ‘o liquid crack (aka Diet Dr Pepper). Jiggle. I tried it on both wrists, as I’m ambidextrous but thought perhaps one side would register slightly less movement. Not really. The kicker was when I was in the car driving home and I got a happy face for turning the wheel. I pulled over in the parking lot to take a picture:
The S2H Replay watch isn’t going to work for me, as I need something that will motivate me to move more…and I just can’t respect myself for getting activity points for yank’in down my pants and having an afternoon pee. Yes. Yes, I did get points for that. Apparently I yank my drawers down with such vigor that the S2H Replay gave me a happy face. Hey, I had to go!
Understand, however, that the cute little happy face goes right back to sad when you’re not really working hard. In every situation I described above, I instantly got a sad face when I was done with whatever I was doing. Those acts alone aren’t really racking up much activity when you think about the big picture.
Still, I would imagine that too many people would be tempted to do what the lovely chain smoking & downright gritty grocery checker suggested when she asked me what it was today. After I explained the idea behind the S2H Replay, she made a noise that sounded like she inhaled her entire pack o’ Marlboro Lights and smirked “Hell, honey, I’d just lay on the couch watch’in Judge Judy and shake the damn thing for an hour. Cool!”
And we wonder why we’re such a fat country. Sigh.
Well, I’m part of the fat of this fat country…and I would never do that. I just couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I did. Okay, I admit that I might be tempted under the right circumstances. If I could redeem my S2H points for a Dooney & Burke Croco Janine bag in fuschia, I might just be tempted to strap that sucker on Kirby’s collar and plunk my 3.5 asses down on a bench at the dog park while she ran around sniff’in butts for an hour. I know I’d think about it…but I wouldn’t do it.
The S2H Replay watch has its place, though. A lot of kids are addicted to video games and crap tv nowadays. Any parent who wants to redirect their children to play outside and “go blow the stink off”, as my Mom used to say, will probably find this to be a very useful tool. Kids can earn cool stuff for increasing their physical activity…they’ll just have to be watched to make sure they don’t all hole up at little Jimmy’s house down the street to play video games while the S2H is tied to the hamster wheel.
The second problem? The rubber wrist band irritates my skin and I start getting itchy around 4 o’clock every day. It’s just not for me.
The third problem lies in their reward system. Not really even a problem…maybe just something akin to the feeling I had when my big brother told me there was no Santa.
Yes, there’s a Nintendo Wii you can get for 15,000 points. The rest of the prizes don’t seem to be prizes at all…more like coupons. When I redeemed my first code and got 60 points, I went looking at rewards to see what I could get. First thing I see: $5 at Kmart. I thought to myself “Wow, really? That’s actually not bad…$5 at Kmart for a day’s worth of activity? I could save those up…” Then I read further on. $5 off a purchase of $50 or more at Kmart. Oh. So basically it’s a 10% off coupon. Mmmkay. I think I have one of those in my big, chunky Entertainment 2011 coupon book…and I didn’t have to shake my money maker while doing the dishes to get it.
There are spa coupons and other rewards that are similar. There are some free things, but most of the rewards are coupon-ish. I started to feel profoundly ripped off and then I realized…no company is going to pay you for working out, stupid! What’s in it for them? Nothing, really. It just doesn’t make any sense when you think about it. Just like Santa: A fat sweaty guy breaks into your house and no one calls the cops? Puh-LEEZ! Reality check!
So what if it’s mostly coupons and discounted items. I’m still in. I love a good deal. I’m quite certain I’ll find something that gives me a shiny high. They’re still working with retailers to get more rewards in and I’m excitedly watching to see what else becomes available. I have faith.
I’m amazed at the creativity behind such a great idea and I have to give ’em props for thinking outside the box. This company has some real, serious potential and I’m not throwing in the towel yet. In fact, I contacted them about their corporate wellness program to see if I can get my company on board. Well, I tried…but the form wouldn’t go through no matter how many times I clicked SUBMIT. At least I didn’t get points for clicking, I guess.
Clearly there’s room for improvement, but they’re a young company. I will try again.
I also have to give them props about the excellent customer service and quick response time they give their customers. As I was reading product reviews on Amazon.com, I noticed how attentive they were in responding to customers who complained about issues of any kind. In fact, I emailed them with a question about whether the large S2H Replay would fit around my ginormous wrist and they were very quick to reply. They obviously care about their product and their customers and want to be successful. They get major respect for that.
But the good people at S2H have something even better than the S2H Reply coming soon: the S2H Step. A pedometer that gives you a reward code for every 10,000 steps. Yes! Now we’re talk’in. This is a grown up toy I can really get behind.
Even though the S2H Replay isn’t something I’ll choose to keep using, I will absolutely plunk down more of my hard earned cashola for an S2H Step. I’m very excited about the Step. Children and families will probably love the S2H Replay much more than I did. The S2H Replay puts a powerful tool in parents’ hands as far as getting those kids away from Facebook and the XBox and back outside where they belong.
So kudos to the folks at S2H for thinking on their feet and coming up with a seriously cool product. In fact, I’d like to talk to them about an idea I got last night as the hubby sat in his “sniper chair” (the ottoman) in front of the Playstation (the devil). As I contemplated dumping ice down the butt crack so amply displayed for my viewing pleasure, I found myself wishing for an S2H Wedding Band. Think about it: husbands earn points for helping around the house. Perhaps the motion sensor could give extra points if it detects more intense scrubbing…or even for putting the damn toilet seat down.