It’s a common enough joke: “Man, I wish I could buy a device that would give me a little electric shock every time I reach for a cigarette.” It’s based on real ideas about aversion therapy and behavioral reinforcement, and now those ideas have been put into a real consumer product: Pavlok.
“Pavlok” might sound like the world’s most depressing Masters of the Universe character, but it’s actually the name of a device you can wear anywhere on your body (either with a wristband or special adhesive patches) in order to change your behavior. You can program it via smartphone app to beep, vibrate, or give you a small (and safe) electric shock under almost any conditions, including every time you text your ex-girlfriend, walk into a McDonald‘s, or go too long without exercising.
The idea of subjecting yourself to electric shocks must be pretty popular, because Pavlok has already surpassed its fundraising goal by (as of this writing) almost $30,000. It’s still got another 29 days to go, so you can head over to the Pavlok IndieGoGo page here to pre-order your own for $149. Unless you’ve been trying to spend less money on gadgets on the internet, in which case you might want to go stick a fork in a light socket or something (do not actually do this).
You can also watch a video about how Pavlok works and what it can do below. Enjoy: