Is it just us, or is this fitness tracker downright mean?

Image: Pavlok (via Twitter)

Here at The Glow, we’re big fans of fitness trackers.

Last year, a big chunk of our office fell in love with the Jawbone and became completely obsessed with tracing our daily steps – sometimes randomly pacing around the building to reach the 10,000 mark – and monitoring our sleep.

“I’m addicted to my Jawbone”

But despite our love of activity trackers, there’s one wearable you’ll never see on our wrists – mainly because it’s completely diabolical.

A US firm has developed a wristband called the Pavlok that helps people kick their bad habits by administering a ‘punishment’ chosen by the user, thus keeping them accountable for their actions. These punishments include vibrations, sound reminders, blocked access to a mobile phone and… a 300 volt electric shock.

Skipped your yoga class? ZAP! That’ll learn you, you lazy slob.

Look, we get it, kind of. Anyone who’s ever scarfed down a whole packet of Tim Tams in one sitting knows bad habits are really hard to break. But who knew there were people willing to give themselves electric shocks to change their behaviour? Isn’t that a little… masochistic?

“I know electric shock sounds crazy, but sometimes crazy works,” says evil genius the device’s creator, Maneesh Sethi. Well, sure.

The Pavlok – which is, as you probably guessed, named after Pavlov and his dog – includes a Bluetooth radio that links up to a smartphone app and can track the user’s behaviour.

How to get fitter… FASTER

Cruelly, it can also shame you on social media when you fail to achieve the goals you set. If that’s not enough, users can also sync their Pavloks up to their friends’ ones to keep each other on track by issuing punishments.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however – users can also set up rewards for when they achieve their goals.

The Pavlok, which you can pre-order now if you want to literally shock yourself into becoming a better person, could herald the beginning of a new era of wearable technology that goes beyond simply tracking your movements and sleep quality.

Belty food tracker
Introducing... 'Belty'. (Image: Emiota)

Just a few days ago, a French startup called Emiota unveiled a belt that tightens if it senses you've eaten too much on a given day and haven't done enough exercise to compensate (ha! Imagine wearing that on Christmas Day...) On the flip side, the 'Belty' will loosen if you've got some spare calories to use up.

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Then there's the Zensorium Being, which uses your heart rate and blood pressure measurements to map your mood and let you know if you're stressed (which will probably just stress you out even more).

What could possibly next? We think we'll stick to these more traditional activity trackers for the time being, thanks all the same:

What do you think - is the Pavlok pure evil... or pure evil genius?