Facebook overload, smoking, porn or video games. Don’t we all have some bad habits we want to break? I know I do. Well with this sweet little wearable Maneesh Sethi has created you can.
“Wake up sleepy head… it’s time to go to the gym.” “Put down those chips!” “Stop wasting time on Facebook.” If any of the above statements resonate with you, then you’re not alone. Maneesh Sethi, author and Stanford alumnus has said all of the above to himself at one point, and wanted to know why. Why, despite knowing the right thing to do, he kept making the wrong choices. His solution wasn’t to buy a book, splash out on a personal trainer or go to a professional. Instead, Sethi investigated how humans behave; how they form habits. His research led him to invent Pavlok — a $250 wearable he’s launching later this year. One that will, literally, shock you.
Sethi explains how Pavlok works with a simple example — the habit of waking earlier. “It sits on my wrist and at 6am it’ll vibrate. I can snooze it, but if I snooze it twice, it shocks me.” Essentially, it’s a wristband that electrocutes you into
submission action. Or as a description on an investor page puts it:
“Pavlok combines accurate tracking capabilities, powerful commitment techniques, and ‘on-your-wrist’ reminder triggers to change users’ brains and form the habits they wish they had.”
It may sound draconian, but Sethi is serious about it, so much so he plans to launch Pavlok via crowdfunding in fall, and sell to a willing public by early 2015.
Pavlok isn’t just about zapping you every time you skip the gym, there’s a social element. By teaming up with a partner, you’re forced to become more accountable to someone else, which Sethi’s research suggests will make achieving them more likely. Through an app or Facebook, your buddy can see if you did your bit. In a fitness scenario, this could be whether you clocked up 10,000 steps, had a GPS pin at the gym, or logged a jog with Runkeeper. Fail to complete one of those three, and your friend gets to push the buzz-button.
This probably isn’t something I’m not interested in but I think it would help out quite a few people I know. Eh, wink wink…. You know who you are!