Pavlok 2's AI wants to help you change your morning routine

Get to know the sequel that’s smarter at waking you up
Pavlok's morning routine shake up

While there's nothing like getting in bed after a long day, getting up and starting the next can be a tiresome task. Especially when you realise you forgot to charge your smartwatch, fitness tracker or even your phone the night before.

Thankfully, after seeing previous success through crowdfunding, Boston based startup Pavlok is back, hoping to provide you with a wearable that will shock you into a new morning routine and break bad habits. The new device, Pavlok 2 (previously Pavlok Rise), is live on Indiegogo now for an early bird price of $89 with shipping set for September 2017.

It's a refreshed version of the original zapping wearable - the band vibrates, beeps and sends small electric shocks to your wrist. The hardware has been upgraded with new sensors to track gestures, a faster processor and redesigned Bluetooth antenna for better connectivity with a thinner, mesh band. But the main appeal of this over the original seems to be what Pavlok 2 does with the data using AI.

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We spoke to Pavlok founder Maneesh Sethi in order to get to grips with what the new device brings and why the company is returning to the platform.

"One of the biggest questions we got was people wondering how Pavlok was able to recognise when to vibrate and when to zap them," he told Wareable. "And the answer was that we always had a few integrations but you would generally just press the button to reduce the craving.

"And that was effective, but a lot of people didn't even want to press the button. So what we did was spend around two years re-engineering the device to be fully upgraded, using a new processor and a 9-axis accelerometer, so now it has gesture recognition and you're able to record motions and it can track you, see what you're doing and learn through the AI."

Along with a new way of approaching Pavlok's core challenge of getting people to change their habits, a fresh app for iOS and Android will release alongside the new iteration. This will provide users looking to kickstart their day with an earlier wakeup with insights into their sleep, as well as a base to set their alarms and morning routine. Sethi indicated this is where Pavlok's strength lies.

"Sleep is the one thing we're really good at. We're good at breaking habits, too, but you have to stick with our five day programme once you get the device. And getting people to do that is harder than just having the device zap you," he told us.

"With sleep, it's extremely effective, and we learned this around a year ago with our Shock Clock. Depending on your settings, you're getting beeps, zaps and maybe jumping jacks to turn off the alarm. We found that within a few weeks people would start waking up before the alarm would go off. And most people that I've spoken to say that even if they're not wearing the device to sleep they still wake up at the same time. They became a morning person."

Pavlok is back with AI to help you change your morning routine

But for those interested in the sleeping elements, how does the Pavlok 2 actually work?

Well, after the initial setup, you'll be given reminders through the companion app about when you should be going to bed. Then, with the device strapped to your wrist, the accelerometer and gyroscope help wake you up during light sleep between your pre-selected time slot. Artificial intelligence comes into play by using your sleep data to understand your optimal amount of sleep and provide more helpful, personalised reminders over time.

"Our smart alarm means you can set your alarm to go off within a 30 minute period," says Sethi. "And it'll measure your sleep and if you go into light sleep mode within that period, which essentially means if you roll over, the alarm will start. This also means you get trends, so you can see which days you're getting sleep and which you haven't."

However, even though the Pavlok quickly passed its funding target and now has several stretch goals regarding a more developed AI system in its sights, Sethi also noted how the campaign has had to undergo changes, including the name of the device, after initial feedback.

"We needed to explore what our users want and what they care about. If there's anything this campaign is about it's learning what to build. And what we discovered is that we're building the wrong thing. Initially, people were confused about if this was all actually new - it is.

"The first week was kind of our soft launch, so we're changing the name from Pavlok Rise to Pavlok 2. And our message is really about Pavlok 1 being the device where you pressed buttons to control things, but Pavlok 2 already knows. And so that's the reason we went back to Indiegogo, to figure out what people want."

Crowdfund this?

As always, that's the question for you to consider here.

While Pavlok has had some trouble providing potential backers with the message about what's new in the Pavlok 2, it's worth considering as an intelligent system available that could shake up your morning routine - whether that's through a new sleeping schedule or a bad habit, as it has provided in the past.

Pavlok has brought two similar products to market in recent years, with Sethi confirming that the new device is scheduled to drop in September alongside the fresh companion app.

The big pull here will still be with people who are fresh to the concept and those in need a device that will help them change their routine in a simple and largely painless way. If you fall into that group, Pavlok 2 could very well be worth backing.

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