A new device promises to smash your bad habits in a shocking way – by zapping you with electricity.
The device could help users keep their New Year’s resolution to lose weight, stop smoking, or wasting time on the internet.
“My bad habit is arguably one of the worst habits in the world – which is smoking cigarettes,” said Marty Sanchez of Cupertino.
“My bad habit is I have mindless eating. I graze throughout the day on unhealthy foods,” said Brandie Edwards of Vallejo.
“Ever since I was 14, I would pull my hair out – touch it pull it,” explained Naomi Cohn of Oakland.
The wearable wristwatch is called a Pavlok.
Inside the wristwatch is a rechargeable battery. Every time the wearer feels a craving, or engages in bad behavior, they can push a little button, or activate an app to get a little shock.”Oh it feels like someone is flicking you on your wrist,” laughed Sanchez “It was shocking how strong it was,” exclaimed Cohn.
The device uses a classic conditioning technique, and borrows from famed behavioral scientist Ivan Pavlov. But instead of reinforcing positive behavior, the therapy teaches an aversion to your bad habit.
“A mild electrical sensation that’s just uncomfortable enough that when you pair it with the habit you’re trying to break, trains your brain to have an aversion to that habit,” explained Sims McGrath III. McGrath is Marketing Director of Pavlok.
McGrath said the severity of shock is up to you and comes in several settings, from 50 to 450 volts.