Pavlok: The Shock You Need to Change

Lots of people have heard of FitBit, the bracelet that measures sleep cycles, steps taken and even your calories, giving you updated information to your mobile device on how your fitness regimen is going; but have you heard of Pavlok? Pavlok is also a wearable fitness bracelet, but instead of just keeping you updated with your latest information regarding your body and fitness, it also has a negative reinforcement to go along with it. To put it plainly, it emits an electric shock if you don’t meet your fitness goals (say, 10,000 steps in a day).

Of course, your goals would be programmed into your smart phone, which would then give the Pavlok the parameters to go about shocking you, so you would be in total control of why it would be shocking you: sleeping in too late and lack of exercise are two major selling points. However, that isn’t all there is to offer. Pavlok also allows you to team up with other wearers to become accountable for one another—thus adding in a app2social element. In this event your buddy would get to keep tabs on you as well, and be able to push the button to have you shocked for not completing the goals you set forth. There are also positive reinforcers for completing some challenges, such as money.

If you’re worried about the shock being bad for you, not to worry. This shock is about as bad (and annoying) as a shock you could sustain from shuffling your feet across the carpet and then touching a doorknob or light switch. It’s bad enough to be a negative reinforcer, but not bad enough to cause you any injury. But shocking you isn’t the first thing it will do to you. Pavlok will start by vibrating and ringing, and then graduate up to giving you an ultimatum. Either your monetary bounty will be given away (say bye-bye to your money!) or you can choose to take the shocking punishment as well as having your failures posted to your Facebook wall.

Think this drill-sergeant bracelet is for you? Fork up $249.99 for an early alpha model to test out, or wait for 2015 to roll around and purchase yours for only $149.99. Good luck to you, if you go for it, as I think if I received one it would be sitting on the table collecting dust after the first shock was administered.

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