Sometimes humans are just as stupid as dogs. Now, I love dogs, but they wouldn’t know how to manage finances if they had any, the same way many people get themselves into crazy debt for no good reason.
Nobel prize-winning scientist Ivan Pavlov famously found that dog behavior could be conditioned by physical stimuli, like electric shocks, and now a software company is using the same crude method to stop you spend-happy bastards wasting moolah.
The Pavlok is a watch which uses the electrical shock version of Pavlovian conditioning to help users curb certain nasty habits, like overspending.
Pavlok’s website claims the shock treatment has helped cure people of habits like smoking, eating sugar and biting their nails. Now its founders, Intelligent Environments, say they have found a way to connect the Pavlok to a user’s bank account and hope to have this application available in the near future.
The company says it developed the electrical shock approach due to the increasing disconnect between people and their spending, as a result of contactless online payments.
With its software, users can set a spending limit for a certain period of time on their bank account. The Pavlok app will then cause your wristband to vibrate once you get close to reaching this limit. Should you be foolhardy enough to exceed that limit, you will be zapped by your wristband.
The wristband can be set to give a shock of up to 340 volts. How strong that is, I am not sure, but it’s more likely a level which causes a mild discomfort, as opposed to a one which ignites your scalp and scorches your crotch (although there are some people out there whose financial dealings are so irresponsible that they deserve a decent groin blaze).
The Pavlok is not all about electrical shocks, according to Intelligent Environments, explaining that their software can also be linked to a home thermostat. So if a user goes over their spending limit, the temperature inside their home is reduced, saving money on heating.
Given the potential hospital bills as your family suffer from pneumonia, I’m not sure that’s the best application of the technology. Although if they got really cold, you could always just zap them ’til they’re warm again.