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Design for Good

This Device Will Electrically Shock You To Help You Keep Your Commitments

As its name suggests, Pavlok, a wristband whose creator claims will help you form lasting habits better than any other on the market, was inspired by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov’s work on conditioned reflexes. In other words, it changes behavior through positive and negative reinforcements, such as an electric jolt.

Pavlok’s creator, Maneesh Sethi, wanted to create a band that can not only collect data and deliver a myriad of graphics, but actually force you to act upon them. The way he ensures it is by making you accountable for your actions.

After you have picked a goal (anything from changing your sleep habits, completing your daily Duolingo lesson, or writing 100 pages per week) Pavlok breaks it into manageable actions and pushes you each day to stay on track. It also helps you find a partner to support (or punish you) through your journey. If you fail, you’ll face penalties such as pay a fine, lose access to your phone, be embarrassed on social media, or even suffer an electric shock…at the hands of your friends.

For example, you may have an app that lets you set an alarm to gently vibrate to wake you up. But, if you keep hitting the snooze button Pavlok can deliver just enough of a “jolt” to get you up and running - with adrenaline.

Pavlok knows when you’re wearing it and comes with an accelemeter that tracks your steps, activity, and sleeping patterns. Vibration, sound and LEDs act as behavioral triggers and notifiers. A static shock circuit delivers up to 340V of electric current. It’s also great that Pavlok comes with an open API and any developer can help increase compliance and improve communication with users.

The wristband has already secured $100 000 in investments and goes for crowdfunding in September. It will ship in 2015 at the price of $150. You can preorder an early prototype for $250.

 

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