New Fitness Wristband Gives Slackers Shocks

Pavlok is designed to jolt people into better habits

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 25, 2014 1:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – If what you need to meet fitness targets is a device attached to your body that will jolt you with electric shocks, then a new company called Pavlok has just the thing for you. Founder Maneesh Sethi says the fitness-tracking wristband he devised can keep track of things like gym visits and steps walked in a day—and gives users a brief but sharp electric shock in the wrist if they fail, the Telegraph reports. The idea is to jolt people into adopting better habits, he says. "Research shows that consistency is the key to forming a habit," Pavlok says on its website. "When you use Pavlok to stick to your goals, you'll find that they become easier and, eventually, automatic."

"It sits on my wrist, and at 6am it'll vibrate," Sethi explains. "I can snooze it, but if I snooze it twice, it shocks me." He says he lost 30 pounds using the device, according to Engadget. Sethi says he aims to have Pavlok on the market next year, but a limited number of prototypes will be released this fall. The idea of wearable technology that causes you pain sounds pretty chilling to Andrew Leonard at Salon. "What happens when workers are required to submit to Pavlok shock therapy in order to qualify for an employer's healthcare coverage?" he wonders. "Pavlok will know when you're reaching for that jumbo soda or are binge-watching Orange Is the New Black. And Pavlok won’t be happy." (Sony is working on a different kind of wearable technology—a wig that can check your blood pressure.)

GPS tracking will help Pavlok know whether you're meeting your goals.
GPS tracking will help Pavlok know whether you're meeting your goals.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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