WASHINGTON (dpa) – An American firm has developed a wristband to help people give up bad habits by administering an electric shock if they lapse back into their old ways.
The user simply picks a bad habit he or she wishes to tackle and chooses the punishment the wristband will mete out, which can range anywhere from a vibration or sound reminder, to making the wearer pay a fee or sending a mild electric shock of up to 300 volts. It is even possible to block the user from being able to use his or her mobile phone.
If on the other hand, the wearer gets up early as planned, goes to the gym or completes the hours necessary to complete an academic paper, then a financial reward is handed out or a friend is notified.
The wristband has been developed by a Boston company and contains a Bluetooth radio that links to a smartphone app that can, for example, tell if the user has turned up on time to the office for work.
The device is called “Pavlok” and takes its name from Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who is famous for his 1918 study of classical conditioning, whereby he rang a bell every time he gave food to a dog.
Pavlok claims the device will help change behaviour and allow users to unlock their potential and seamlessly transform into the person they want to become.
The device is due to come on the market next April and the company states that it has already received around 1,000 pre-orders.