While some wearables such as fitness trackers are designed to help the user in bettering themselves, Pavlok takes things a little further. The device, which can be worn as a bracelet or placed elsewhere on the body, aims to break bad habits by shocking the wearer when they stray from the right path.
The concept of the Pavlok is simple, if perhaps a little extreme. When a user gets the device, a companion app is downloaded and the habits they want to kick are selected. It's then placed somewhere on the body (either worn as a wristband or attached to the skin via adhesive stickers) and it will either beep loudly, vibrate or shock wearers if they slip up and perform one of the forbidden tasks. The team behind the product claims that adding accountability to commitment can increase your chance of success by up to 80 percent.
The company provides a list of bad habit suggestions to be linked with the Pavlok, with examples including wasting time online, sitting still for too long, going into fast food restaurants or hitting the snooze button when your morning alarm goes off.
At its core, the Pavlok is an activity tracker, packing an accelerometer that keeps tabs on the user’s steps, activity and sleeping patterns. Its ability to administer a jolt to the wearer (which is apparently roughly equivalent to a static shock in intensity), is its wackiest feature, but its day to day use is designed more towards vibrations, audio alerts and LED indicators to act as behavioral indicators, steering the user away from their bad habits. Though it can also post about your bad behavior on social networks like Facebook.
The device connects to iOS and Android smartphones via Bluetooth 4.0, and the company has produced an API for the product that it hopes will get developers on board to significantly expand and refine its functionality.
Pledges for a Pavlok on Indiegogo start at US$129, with the final retail price expected to rise to $149. If all goes to plan, shipping should start in April 2015.
Have a look at the pitch video below for a taste of what's on offer.