A shocking development in wearable technology

Major technology vendors such as Samsung and Sony have joined start-ups such as Pebble in bringing wearable technology to market, and Apple is said to be working on a smartwatch. But a new player on the scene – Pavlok – is taking wearable tech in a shocking new direction.

Pavlok, which is set to ship in 2015, has many of the features of a typical smartwatch – it integrates with a smartphone, has a number of fitness assist features and, of course, it tells the time. If you wear it to bed, it will vibrate on your wrist when it’s time to wake up. But here’s the difference – hit snooze too many times, and it will give you a shock.

The device features an accelerometer to track your steps, activity and sleeping patterns. Realtime haptic feedback uses vibration, sound and LEFs as behavioural triggers and modifiers. But what’s different is its static shock circuit, which can deliver up to 340v of electric current to your wrist.

According to the team behind Pavlok, the device is intended as a personal coach on your wrist, and the shocks are one of the ways it will attempt to help you change your habits and keep your resolutions around things such as diet and exercise.


With the device and smartphone app you set goals, but you also build in the penalties you’ll face if you fall off track, from a shock to losing access to your phone. There’s also a social element, with friends being able to track your progress towards your goals through social sharing in platforms and send you prompts if you’re slacking. The goal is to create new, healthier habits.

The prototype device can be purchased now for US$249.99 for delivery this fall, and the production Pavlok Unit can be pre-ordered now for US$149.99, with delivery scheduled for early 2015.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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