Seeing your efforts jump you up the leaderboard or having to go out again because you've been alerted that you have been knocked off the top spot adds a competitive edge that works to spur on many (but not all) people.
One of the limiting factors though has been the need for all of the challenge or duel participants to be in the same Brand's eco system, i.e. all using Fitbits or all using Jawbone or Garmin. Indeed often the choice of device you buy and use is dictated by the devices and Brands used by your friends and family. So you may sacrifice some features or a particular design you like just to be "part of the club".
Of course its in the manufacturers interest to keep you in their "bubble" so you'll buy their next great device, service or whatever.
But that's all about to change with the advent of inKin (www.inkin.com). This website links to multiple Brands devices and conveniently and graphically matches the data in a common space. This now means I (as a Fitbit user) can seamlessly challenge a Friend who is a Garmin user. Great stuff.
So if you are out in the cold from your friends and family because you didn't want the devices they chose, you can now join the fold.
I've signed up to give it a go and will give some feedback in a future post. If you join up, do let me know how you get on or maybe even challenge me.