Breaking a bad habit is challenging. While willpower alone may be enough for some to give up junk food, stop smoking, or start waking up on time, others need other sources of motivation to get headed down a new path. Now, Amazon is selling a wristband that helps wearers give up bad habits by delivering electric shocks when they indulge.
Pavlok 2 – a black bracelet that can deliver a small electric current to the wearer – retails for between $200 and $300. The device is designed to help the user break bad habits by applying negative consequences – an electric shock – if the person deviates from their plan.
The wristband “breaks bad habits via zaptic feedback, based on 80 years of science-backed, aversion therapy studies,” according to the product description. “Other wearables track what you’ve already done, only Pavlok 2 can help you change your behavior.”
Pavlok 2 relies on motion sensors, GPS tracking, and other technologies based on the wearer’s goal. When the device detects that the person is indulging in their bad habit, it first issues warnings to the wearer. Then, if the person continues with the action, it delivers an electric shock, relying on consequences to make the person averse to continuing with the habit they want to break.
The bracelet connects to a companion app that allows a person to identify their goals, track their progress, and participate in a larger community of people who are also trying to form better habits. Coaching is also available through the app.
The reviews for the Pavlok 2 are decidedly mixed. Many tout that the app is easy to use and that the product helped them develop better habits, but also note that the product isn’t of a high enough quality, especially for the price tag.
“Wrist band is a little awkward but it does allow for the contacts to be positioned closely to your skin for the best results. I’ve only used the button on the device to administer the shock. I can’t comment on how the hand motion function works,” said one customer, according to a report by VT.
“The app is ok and does give some information and videos on how to beat whatever habit you’re trying to break,” the review continued. “At 100% on a decent charge it is more than enough of a zap to get your attention. I’m glad I bought it, so far I believe it is working. It’s not going to cure a lifelong issue in a few days so you have to stick to their plan and really work on it.”