Anyone that has ever had a bad habit (read: everyone) has probably tried to break said habit at one time or another. Whether you smoke, bite your fingernails or indulge in a midnight snack, you've probably said those fateful words to yourself, "I really need to stop doing this."
But we all know that quitting is usually easier said than done. Self-help books, therapy and hypnosis are all popular methods to try and help people make a change, but the saying "old habits die hard" doesn't exist for no reason. Changing your habits takes discipline and willpower, which most people just don't have.
Maybe all you need is a good-old-fashioned electric shock every once in a while. Enter the Pavlok, a new wristband that helps users stay on track with their goals by giving them a small electric shock when they fail, among other punishments. This whole wearable tech craze just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?
Pavlok helps you replace bad habits with good ones. Each day, you get a task to help you complete your goal. If you succeed, you can earn a reward, such as a prize or money. If you fail, you get a punishment, such as paying a fine, losing access to your phone or even an electric shock that delivers up to 340 volts of electric current. That sounds completely terrifying, but the shock is apparently no more harmful than a jolt of static electricity.
The Pavlok was created by Maneesh Sethi, who once hired a woman he found on Craigslist to slap him in the face every time he was doing something unproductive, like logging on to Facebook, and it actually worked. Sethi tried the same thing with the Pavlok, of course, which helped him avoid logging on Facebook at all by his third day of wearing the wristband, he told RT.
Pavlok's moniker is inspired by Ivan Pavlov, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist famous for discovering what he referred to as the "conditioning reflex" after training dogs to salivate when they heard a bell ring. "At our core, we are animals. More than 40 percent of our time is spent in deep, automatic mode," Sethi told RT. "I want to help save lives. I want to get people to stop smoking cigarettes and fight obesity. I think this product is going to be the first step towards massive health changes."
The device already has prototypes, and 350 users have tested it. Now, Pavlok's creator is hoping to get the bracelet manufactured. Its IndieGogo campaign launched Sept. 30, and it has already surpassed its $50,000 goal, earning nearly $79,000, at the time of this writing. This isn't shocking (get it, shocking), considering there will never be a shortage of people wanting to improve their lives.