Remember Pavlov? Pavlov was a physiologist who identified a system of natural conditioning as a way of controlling behavior. Following on the Pavlov theme, British IT developers Intelligent Environments have designed a wearable electronic-shock device. They believe that consumers are worried enough about staying out of debt that they are willing to subject themselves to a 225-volt shock when they cannot muster the strength to say “no”.
The company’s Interact loT is an Internet of Things banking platform, perhaps the first one in the world. Developers borrowed from the Pavlov wristband, which is helping people quit smoking, biting their nails and other unhealthy or nervous habits, and applied it to the habit of overspending. The shock is intended to develop a negative feeling towards the behavior in the user. In this case, after getting a 225-volt shock a few times, it is expected that the user will begin to think on his or her own before spending money they don’t have. This is probably better for those consumers with serious debt issues, or those addicted to shopping.
With the Interact loT platform, users connect their bank and credit card accounts to any internet device, such as the Google’s Nest Thermostat, which delivers a milder system for correcting unhealthy spending habits, or to the Pavlok wristband. Users set their own spending limits and then they choose a method by which they wish to “be notified” when close to the limit or breaching it—a lower room temperature, a mild buzzing or a 225-volt shock.
Intelligent Environments, known previously for its emoji passcodes, has a proven track-record of working with banking and financial institutions in Britain. They garnered a lot of attention with their Smartwatch banking app.They were very successful with fundraising last year and are actively promoting Pavlok to financial institutions across Europe. Only time will tell whether this new innovation can go mainstream and ultimately help improve our severely challenged world economy.