Pavlok is the wristband that can break your bad habits

We all have bad habits. While I’m sure I have more than one, my worst is probably biting my nails. I’ve tried to give it up, but there’s just something so cathartic about it I always end up succumbing to the tug of nail biting.

If, however, you do want to see the end of your bad habit, a new wristband called Pavlok could help rid you of your vice through shock therapy.

Looking very much like a chunky Fitbit, Pavlok sounds so suspiciously close to First Direct’s April Fool’s gag that it’s hard to believe it’s real. By wearing Pavlok and pairing it with its companion app, every time you perform a bad habit, you get a shock. It may just be conditional behaviour therapy, but it certainly sounds like it would get you to drop those bad habits.

According to the device’s rather oddly worded website, Pavlok has sensors that can detect general movements of your bad habit and then automatically dish out the punishment if it thinks you’re doing something you shouldn’t. It’s unclear how, exactly, it manages this, but the whole site does read a little bit like a spoof, so I’m not too surprised.

Interestingly, the BBC reports that app developer Intelligent Environments has developed a platform to link Pavlok to your bank account. Set yourself a funding limit and when your account drops below it, you’ll get a shock on your wrist. Currently no bank has offered official support for such measures, but it’s a neat little addition nonetheless.

Would you wear a wristband that could shock your bad habits out of you?

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