Pavlok: Stupid or really useful?

Let’s start with what the Pavlok actually is. The Pavlok is an application in combination with a bracelet that gives small electric shocks by people showing wrong behavior. This is how I would describe what the Pavlok is, but the founder Manees Sethi, a behavior change expert and the founder sees it is an application which can help people form good habits get rid of their old and bad habits and makes people stick to their commitments. The developer Maneesh Sethi even hired someone to slap his face when he was checking Facebook or Twitter instead of doing actual work At the moment Pavlok is collecting money with the help from Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website where they achieved their goal of $50,000 in only one day and was already showed in big American television shows.
How does the Pavlok really work and how does it help people to achieve their goals? Well, you can download the app on an iOS or Android smartphone, which communicates with the bracelets. And if the app discovers bad behavior it sends a signal to the bracelet and which creates an electric shock. ‘Bad behavior’ can be defined as useless browsing on the internet, sitting in a chair for too long or even walking in to a fast food restaurant. According to the developers an average person should need 30 days to lose their bad habits.


World first device that doesn’t just track what you do but actually changes what you do
According to the developer of Pavlok there are 100’s of apps which tracks our behavior, but not manage to really make a change. This new application will make sure that people are getting more productive. The Pavlok gets its information of bad behavior from several sources, like GPS and the time. I would say this new and clever device can be a very useful tool for procrastinating people like myself to help to get focus on the more important things in life, for example the Information Strategy course. The Pavlok will also be connected on the internet and can even post ‘shame posts’ on Facebook or Twitter showing your friends that you didn’t achieve your goal. Finally, some people will say that this application is not for them and will only be used by people who can’t motivate themselves intrinsically. But I would say applications bringing this kind information can be very useful for a lot of people dealing with focus issues.



One response to “Pavlok: Stupid or really useful?”

  1. davidtakacs says :

    Thanks for the post! Well, for me this “invention” is just simply stupid. I find it incredibile that they were able to collect 50 000 $ in such a short time. First of all, the device itself is ugly and looks like a toy. I can only imagine this with colorful clothes. It’s hard to image a manager walking in to a meeting in a suit with a bracelet like this. But even if they manage to come up with attractive design ideas, the potential functions of Pavlok are really limited. There aren’t many sensors built in a mobile phone that this app could use, it’s basically the GPS and the time only. So the majority of the bad habits this app could help get rid of it are location-based. However, it cannot help giving up smoking for example, which could be much useful.

    The automatical posting feature sounds interesting in theory, but in my opinion in practice people would turn it off after they have found unexpected and awkward posts on their feed from their bracelet. To conclude, I think Pavlok is nothing more than an interesting article in the news with 15 minutes of fame, but its limitations make it impossible for me to take it seriously.

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