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They Did What?: 

Pavlok wearable shocks you into action

Pavlok shock wristband

Feeling brave? Kick your bad habits in to touch with Pavlok’s shock therapy

Exercise bands and activity trackers are usually billed as supportive devices, giving us that gentle nudge we need towards our life goals. Pavlok, however, take a rather less subtle approach.

As you might have guessed from the lightning bolt etched ominously onto its side, Pavlok’s wristband wants to do more than jolt your memory, administering a small electric shock each time you fall into one of your bad habits. You can also set it to vibrate or beep you into action, but if we haven’t lost you by this point – let’s be honest – it’s the shock that you’re interested in.

Here’s how it works; you select the habits you want to kick via a companion app – the team behind Pavlok suggest wasting time online, entering fast food restaurants and hitting the snooze button as possible options. You then attach the device to your body via the wristband (pictured above) or with small adhesive stickers. Break the habit and receive a small shock – just enough to guilt you into changing your routine for the better.

Is this going to hurt?

Apparently not. Pavlok’s developers claim that the voltage used is not enough to hurt, but delivers “a very noticeable shock – like a static shock like when you walk with your socks on a rug and then touch a metal door knob.”

Another way Pavlok claims it can change your bad habits is socially, posting your activity to Facebook when you step out of line. So, which is the bigger incentive? Physical shock or social embarrassment?

Pavlok was looking for $50,000 to kickstart its wristband in Indiegogo, but has already raised more than $90,000 at the time of writing with 20 days to go. Apparently the market for shock therapy is bigger than you might think. Shipping is planned to begin in April, with bands costing $129 via IndieGogo, or the final retail price of $149.

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