The Latest In Wearable Fitness: A Wristband That Shocks You For Not Exercising Enough

"A personal coach" or a human cattle prod?

“A personal coach” or a human prod?

As if the prick of a guilty conscience isn’t enough every time you pass those dusty gym shoes, someone has gone and created a device users willingly wear that give out electric shocks if you’re not sticking to your exercise regime.

The wearable prod/fitness tracker is called the Pavlok, as its creator thinks the wristbands can be used to train those who wear them with negative reinforcement.

“Research shows that consistency is the key to forming a habit. When you use Pavlok to stick to your goals, you’ll find that they become easier and eventually, automatic,” the Pavlok site reads, via The Telegraph. “At that point, use Pavlok to train your next habit and keep up your transformation into a better you.”

In an extra twist right out of a Psychology 101 book, apparently your friends can have the power to shock you when you fail. You can also lose access to your phone and face fines, if you want to do that to yourself.

But there’s the positive reinforcement side as well, as “Pavlok can reward you when you achieve your goals” with some way to win prizes and “even money when you complete your daily task.”

You set your own goals, like taking a certain amount of steps per day or going to the gym. The Pavlok uses its GPS data to track whether or not you’re going to that gym or taking all the steps you need to be. If you fail, zap!

It’s unclear at this point how the shocking mechanism works, exactly, but “up to 340V” can’t be a fun experience. The human zapper isn’t on the market yet and is set to go on sale in 2015, but interested parties can get in on “a limited number of prototypes” for $249, or preorder the commercial unit for $149.

A guilty conscience is much cheaper, but not quite as physically painful. The choice is yours.

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  1. Alecto67 says:

    Seems like more of a gimmick to get publicity. I have a FitBit, and I can’t see how something like that would realistically work. I have a goal of 12,000 steps a day, for example, and I may hit that by 3pm in the afternoon, or at 11:59pm. With a full-time job, there will be periods of forced inactivity that have no regular schedule (meetings, travel time, etc).