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A shocking device aimed at changing habitual behaviour

Wristband Is Shocking Way To Control Spending

WT24 Desk

A bracelet that gives its wearer an electric shock when they go overdrawn is being launched,Sky News reports. The idea is that the Pavlok wristband will be wired up to an online bank account so that, when the user goes overdrawn beyond pre-set spending limits, they will be given a 255-volt shock.

The plan is worked out in four stages starting with the customer logging into their credit card or bank account facility. They then connect the device and set a spending limit.

When users get near their self-imposed limit, a notification will be sent to their phone. If they go on spending regardless, the wristband moves into shock mode.

The shock is reported to be “slightly uncomfortable”, rather than painful, says Intelligent Environments, the company that provides the connection between the device and the banking sites.

It emphasises it has been tested fully and is safe. The bracelet is expected to be particularly appealing to the youth market with parents and partners particularly expressing an interest on their beloved’s behalf.

“We’ve had lots of interest from ‘concerned others’,” an IE spokeswoman said. “Quite a few have said they want to get one for their daughter, or wife!”

Managing director David Webber was quoted as saying: “My daughter and other people we’ve spoken to who are under 25 think it’s brilliant.

“There’s probably a novelty value as well.” The wristband was launched in 2014 by a US internet business intended for use as a way of shocking people out of bad habits, such as smoking or nail-biting.

It was based on the experiment conducted by Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov with dogs which found that the dogs – and in this case people – can be trained to behave in certain ways through reward or punishment.

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