Pavlok Wristband – Smart Wearable That Breaks Bad Habits – Behavioral Technology – Mild Electric Stimulus
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- Download the app, and choose the habit you want to break.
- Pavlok integrates with sensors, friends, and GPS to keep you on track with your goals
- Use the 'manual' mode for habits that aren't yet detectable.
- Breaks bad habits via zaptic feedback,Other wearables track what you've already done, Pavlok changes your behavior
- Use the Pavlok iPhone app to adjust device setting & engage with habit breaking courses
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Pavlok (a Behavioral Technologies Group product) is a wearable device that helps you break any bad habit. Pavlok combines proven behavioral training techniques, innovative "zaptic" hardware, and tracking software to help you kick habits like smoking, nail biting, eating sugar, being unproductive, hitting the snooze button, and more
From the Manufacturer
Nagina Quit Nail Biting
I've been biting my nails for over thirty years.I tried everything -- I bought that nail polish that tastes disgusting, nothing worked. I wore Pavlok and, in just two days, I became so much more aware. I finally broke the habit, even though I never thought I would.
Tasha Quit Eating Sugar
After one day, I stopped eating refined sugar. Whenever I had a craving, Pavlok's zap helped me get over it, and now I'm sugar free.
Marty Quit Smoking
I quit smoking with Pavlok. I don't even enjoy it anymore. It's exactly where I want to be.
Pavlok has two Official apps available for iOS and Android as of January, 2016. Coming in February, we’ll release Chrome Extension and (coming February/March 2016) IFTTT integration: Pavlok Breaking Bad Habits (iOS/Android)- listen to guided habit breaking audio courses, use the remote control function to trigger your Pavlok manually, or test and adjust the strength of the different types of haptic feedback. Pavlok Shocking Alarm Clock (iOS/Android) - Wake up on time, use Pavlok as your alarm clock! Pavlok will vibrate to wake you up, and slowly increase the stimulus to zap you until you get up – for real. Customize the type of feedback that wakes you up, and never wake up late or miss a meeting ever again. Pavlok Productivity (Chrome Extension) - Blacklist websites that you know you shouldn't visit, and banish too many open tabs. If you open one too many tabs or visit a site you shouldn't be on, Pavlok will notify you and vibrate, beep, or zap your wrist. (Coming February/March 2016) IFTTT (If This, Then That) - IFTTT is a web app that allows you to connect hundreds of different applications together. You can connect apps, smart devices, social networks, other wearables, and more. Here are some example recipes that you'll be able to use with Pavlok:
- IF my unread email count reaches 50 THEN zap Pavlok
- IF I reach my Fitbit step count goal today THEN vibrate Pavlok
- IF I enter a fast food restaurant THEN beep Pavlok
- IF I get an email from [someone] THEN beep Pavlok
- IF I open my smart fridge door THEN zap Pavlok
- EVERY HOUR THEN vibrate Pavlok and notify me to take a deep breath
Describe your product in 3 words.
Breaks Bad Habits
Where did you get the inspiration for your product?
I suffered from ADHD, and found myself addicted to Facebook. I wrote a blog post where I hired someone to, *ahem* slap me every time I went on Facebook, and my productivity skyrocketed. On the other hand, none of my many fitness trackers motivated me at all. So I thought, "why are there so many devices tracking what I do, but not changing what I do?" And Pavlok was born.
What differentiates your product from similar products out there?
There are apps and devices that help people form new habits, but none that help break bad habits. Partway through our development, we discovered a collection of studies from the 1960s-90s on a type of training called 'Aversion training', which had very high success rates at breaking bad habits – but disappeared for social reasons. So we began testing our device on breaking bad habits, and it's been extremely successful.
Tell us about the best and most challenging parts of the creation process.
The best part is receiving users' stories about breaking their bad habits. Hearing how some people who have tried everything finally broke their habits with Pavlok is amazing. The most challenging part is the details – I'm a big picture thinker, so it's hard for me to focus on the details. Fortunately, I found a team of excellent people to help make this project a reality.
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First of all, let me say that any Amazon review of this product without a verified purchase should be looked at closely. Unfortunately, many people feel qualified to leave a review based solely on the heated exchange that occurred on Shark Tank --- which is why you see so many 1 starred reviews starting on 5/21/2016
Bottom Line Up Front
1. If you want to try this product, it's worth it, but make sure you buy through Amazon.com as the seller (who has a very lenient return policy). This gives you the ability to try for yourself, essentially risk free.
2. You should see Pavlok as a convenient way to incorporate aversion therapy and weaken bad habits.
3. The device itself works as intended, but the mobile application is not completely reliable (barring any updates).
I initially found Pavlok in 2015 when it was still a prototype. I was really excited to try it because I buy into aversion therapy (positive punishment if you ask B.F. Skinner). Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of psychology agrees that there is at least some merit to the idea. I have a terrible habit of oversleeping, and the idea of a zapping alarm clock was exciting to me because I really enjoy mornings (when I'm forced to wake up early).
Why I decided to purchase
I bought this on 3/21/2016 mostly because I wanted a surefire way to wake up in the mornings. When the number of positive reviews had reached a critical mass on Amazon, I decided it was time to pull the trigger. Whether or not you buy into the aversion therapy premise is entirely up to you, but there's no doubt that this makes a great alarm clock (when it works). I'm a deep sleeper, and this really got me up.
Functionality / Design
You can zap yourself manually by long pressing on the lightning bolt battery on the device itself (no need for a cellphone), but the intensity of the shock (from 1-10) can only be configured through the Android/iPhone applications. Pavlok is worn around your wrist like a bracelet. Most people think it's a Fitbit, which is good because you probably don't want to be asked questions about why you're wearing a shock collar.
Durability / Recharging
You can't take it in the shower but it does have some water/sweat resistance. It gets recharged in a USB port with the provided cable. I didn't own it long enough to give a full opinion but no problems in the short time I used it.
Before you get too excited, there are some caveats to understand.
This is not a magical bracelet to fix all of your bad habits with one zap. You need to make a commitment to leaving the device on and zapping yourself when you perform a bad behavior. Your ability to hold yourself accountable makes or breaks this product.
Now, could you make a commitment to slap yourself or use a rubber band get the same result? Yes, definitely. If you're one of those people that can hold follow through then save your money.
Why I returned
The real reason I returned it was because the application had so many bugs in it.
1. The bluetooth pairing process was tedious and unreliable. I did so many hard resets and cleared the cache on my Android phone too many times to count. Either it was poorly developed or I got a defective Pavlok.
2. The device would not stay paired with the phone, making automated shocks unreliable.
3. For some reason the developer thought it was a good idea to develop two separate applications, one to administer the shock manually and configure the intensity, and an entirely separate application for the Alarm clock. Meaning you could not stay paired to both applications at the same time. Bad idea.
It's very unfortunate the founder of the company couldn't convince a Shark to join the Pavlok team, because the product really needs someone who understands the mobile application side of things to take it to the next level. For someone trying to be the face of breaking bad habits, he should have done a better job presenting a more pleasing personality to the sharks.
Let me know if this is helpful. I will post updates if/when I give Pavlok another try.
I sleep LIKE THE DEAD. I've slept through thunderstorms, smoke detectors, someone shaking me, you name it. I've tried seemingly every gimmicky alarm clock app: take steps, do math, solve puzzles. I've put my alarm clock across the room only to jump right back into bed, sometimes not remembering I'd done so when I wake up an hour later.
I saw Pavlok on SharkTank and thought I'd give it a try. I was amazed: after using it incorrectly for about a week (having it beep and vibrate BEFORE zapping, hoping the threat of a zap would get me out of bed) I set it to zap me 3 times. The immediate adrenaline rush pops me out of bed WITHOUT FAIL. It's not painful, especially when you're in a sleep coma, but jolting enough to wake the deepest of sleepers. And that's why it works--I was a perpetual "snooze-button-er", but the problem was I wasn't awake enough to even realize I was doing it. Pavlok fixes that. When the Pavlok shocks make me fully awake and AWARE I'm able to get up with no issue.
Now the bad: the device has had it's issues. If you read through these reviews, you've noticed. I've bricked mine several times (you're able to recover it easily--just letting it power down for the day.) It seems it used to be reliable but firmware/app updates have proven to be problematic. That being said, their service is awesome. I received quick responses through the app chat, and even though there were no fixes they owned up to the issues and helped me with easy workarounds. A little patience helps, but in my situation it is really the only option so I was committed to finding a way to make it work.
In summary, Pavlok could be a real life-changer for deep sleepers like myself. If it were a more reliable device I'd be ready to call it just that, because when it does work I get an extra 1-2 hours at the beginning of my day.
For one week, I ate one bag of chips a day, and shocked myself every time I put a chip in my mouth.
I don't know anything about the science or research behind aversion therapy, but I'll swear on a Bible: I don't eat Staci's Pita Chips anymore. By the end of the week I was forcing myself to eat my daily bag just for completeness's sake, but I didn't want to. I made myself eat a bag once a few weeks after that experiment, and I don't think they tasted worse to me, but I definitely just didn't enjoy them anymore. It only took me a week - 7 single-serving bags of chips - and the cravings are 100% gone.
A subtle detail I think is actually really important: I think one of the real strengths of Pavlok - which I suspect might have been unplanned and just a happy accident - is that it takes a brief second after you press it before it shocks you. I assume it was an engineering decision because it's charging up a capacitor, but from a design perspective it makes me much more willing to press the button. If it happened right as I pressed it, I'd probably have a harder time making myself press the button and would get less use out of it. I've tried just wearing a rubber band on my wrist and snapping it as the poor man's Pavlok in the past, but I ended up not really using it much because it instantly hurts and I just associate the snapping with the pain instead.
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Try it if you can before buying.