For once, technology won’t make us lazier, but rather jolt us into action.
If you have taken a psychology course, you may be familiar with Pavlov’s salivating dogs and the concept of classical conditioning. Technicians have integrated this psychological study into helping people break pesky habits through a device called Pavlok.
Pavlok is a wristband that weakens cravings through vibration, beeping and even zaps of electricity. The voltage released from the bracelet isn’t painful enough to be dangerous, but it certainly is uncomfortable.
The creator of the Pavlok wristband, Maneesh Sethi, believes his invention “doesn’t just track what you do, but transforms who you are”.
“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,” Sethi said.
The beginning versions of the Pavlok are being sold online for $125 and will be shipped out by April 2015. The designer surpassed his goal in making $50,000 in order to produce more features and start mass production.
Sethi’s product can help you break the silliest of habits to the most life endangering ones. It takes 30 days to make your actions a habit, but with the Pavlok bracelet, you can end that behavior within five days, they say.
More than 40 percent of our time is spent on autopilot. By wearing the bracelet and becoming aware of the activity, users can consciously choose to stop.
For those with less self-control, the shock feature disrupts the brain’s neural pattern that is responsible for forming habits. In simpler terms, your brain is being trained to avoid repeating the offenses that cause pain, thus ending the habit.
It may seem a bit barbaric, but users who have tried the product seem more than willing to shock themselves with up to 350 volts. Through video logs, users shared their testimonials and positive experiences with the bracelet. It can assist in your journey to quit smoking, biting your nails, sleeping in late or even stop you from sending that drunken text to your ex.
The concept is quite brilliant; your indulgence is associated with pain and eventually you will avoid it. The problem occurs with the application because the appeal of paying for a product that causes you pain is quite low. Shocking.
The concept isn’t completely original, however, and is often called aversion therapy.
In past implementations of aversion therapy, people were generally smart enough to remove the shock-inducing object causing an unsuccessful rate of curbing practices such as alcoholism.
Let’s be honest, this is because if you have the willpower to shock yourself when you drink alcohol, for example, you should have the willpower to simply not drink.
Conversely, the Pavlok wristband is distinct because you don’t always have to do the shocking to yourself. Through a wireless connection, one can choose to have friends or family execute the shocks when they download the Pavlok app.
The wireless option incorporates GPS tracking, sensing activity/motion and monitoring of computer activity. For example, if you want to stop gaining weight, whenever you enter a fast-food restaurant or sit idly for too long, the bracelet will be set to automatically shock you. Additionally, if you are addicted to social media or porn sites, whenever you access them the bracelet will know and administer the shocks.
Some critics believe the wristband is simply creating “shock” appeal to the public and will never gain enough publicity to become the next Fitbit. Others are thrilled to be trained like a dog wearing a shock collar in order to break the nastiest of habits.
There is never a shortage of people wanting to better themselves in the New Year, and Pavlok is here to help keep you on track.