Pavlok is a wearable fitness tracker that gives users an electric shock if they skip the gym or fail to meet their targets, and it has just become available to pre-order.
Costing £150 ($240) and set to arrive in early 2015, the device, which is worn around the wrist, acts as a Pavlovian trigger, informing your body of bad behaviour with a 340-volt electric shock – likened to the static electricity you sometimes get from metal doorknobs.
The Pavlok also syncs with your smartphone and social media accounts via Bluetooth 4.0 LE to both provide you with fitness data and to name and shame you on Facebook should you fail to reach your goals – another incentive.
Users can decide on the pain and reward settings, and there are other options besides the standard shock treatment. The wristband can provide tips and haptic feedback as well as jolting you into action. There are also Pavlokian communities that will pay you to hit your goals and fine you when you fail.
Creator Maneesh Sethi, who cites a Duke University study about the prevalence of habitual behaviours, has designed the device so that users are conditioned into a productive routine.
"Change is hard. We're held back by distractions, other people, and often ourselves," the website reads, "but change isn't impossible. Choose your daily action, and Pavlok will hold you accountable, ensuring lasting success."
The wearable tracker works for more than just exercise habits, with those pilot-tested claiming to have seen positive results in a range of ways. Trial user Justine D, for example, says she now gets up earlier every day to do mindfulness meditation.
In his testimonial, Daniel D says: "I've been able to write 1,000 words per day consistently. No matter how hard I've tried in the past, it was impossible. But the program really works. The best part is, now the habit doesn't feel like a chore... it's just part of my life."