This Wearable May “Shock” You

Culture Vulture - Mindshare InSites
Cover image for  article: This Wearable May “Shock” You

This week on Mindshare’s Culture Vulture Live, Amanda Hechinger explores a wearable that gives you electric shocks.

A companycalled Pavlok has been making headlines for their wristband product, which delivers mild electric shocks to help users break bad habits. It can be anything from smoking, to sleeping too late, to giving up sugar. The idea is that by giving you a small zap when you hit snooze or pick up a cigarette, this wearable will help train your brain to discourage that behavior. It’s classical conditioning with a technological twist.

For some bad habits, you have to administer the shocks yourself. But for others, Pavlok can do it automatically by connecting with other sensors and products. For example, to curb your spending, you can link the Pavlok app to your bank accounts or credit cards. You set a spending limit, and then if you exceed it, it gives you a zap.

Now if you don’t like the idea of electric shocks, there are other options for using the wearable. You can set it up to beep, vibrate, post to your social networks or create monetary penalties.

While we wouldn’t encourage brands to shock their consumers as a way of earning their love, the way Pavlok uses connected technology is indicative of a larger trend. More and more people are using mobile technology to help manage their lives -- whether that’s outsourcing control of their time, their money or their diets. In fact, in a recent study, we found that 64% of consumers are interested in having everyday items from their home connected to the Internet. For brands and marketers, it’s important to consider how you can use connected products to help your audience with their daily lives.

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