There’s a new fitness tracker in town, and it sounds terrifying. Slated for a 2015 release, Pavlok will deliver an electric shock of up to 340V when you skip your workout.
The creators wanted to design something that provides real-time, negative consequences in an effort to help you form positive habits. If the shock isn't enough, the gadget can also post your "failures" to your Facebook wall — and withdraw money from your bank account. But, if you stick with it, you can be rewarded with cash for every success. Pavlok “Turns your resolutions into reality,” according to the product’s website.
The problem (according to the Pavlok team) with current fitness trackers is that they only collect data. They leave it up to you to use those stats as motivation; the Fitbit Flex or the Jawbone Up24 can’t make you take another lap around the neighborhood. But, Pavlok's plan of using fear, pain, and shame as motivators doesn’t seem like a long-term solution either. Sure, it might make you head to the gym instead of meeting friends for cocktails after that first shock, but what is the likelihood that you’re going to be sporting the sadistic band after a few more shock-filled days?
Pavlok seems a bit extreme, although its creators says the volt shock isn’t enough to cause harm. Then again, the company's founder and CEO did once hire someone to provide him with a swift slap in the face every time he logged on Facebook, in an attempt to create a negative association with the activity. So, we're not necessarily keen on following his example.
Fitness bands do aim to be your "wearable coach," though — so if the Fitbit is Bob Harper, Pavlok must be Jillian Michaels.