Ace those New Year resolutions with a Pavlok ($150). Based on Aversion Training science, the Pavlok wristband vibrates to reward you for good behavior, or gives you a zap (yes, really!) to train away bad behavior. It’s been used to quit smoking, nail biting, mindless eating, and sleeping in, among other things.
It’s not easy to get your kids into the habit of brushing properly, but the Kolibree’s Smart Toothbrush (£85/$150) gamifies the experience, encouraging them to brush longer and more thoroughly. Best of all, it tracks data on brushing habits and under-brushed areas so you can coach your kid (or yourself!) into a sparkly white smile.
Check your condition at the office party and always win the argument about who should (or shouldn’t) be driving home after a night out. The AlcoSense Lite Breathalyzer (£40/$50) cunningly looks like a dictaphone and will accurately measure your level of merriness in seconds.
The Ganzfield Mediation Mask (£17/$20) uses sensory science to help you achieve calmer alpha/theta brain states. Perfect for tackling stress and as a meditation aid. We can’t promise it will remove you completely from the holiday chaos, but it could make the whole experience a lot more chill.
It’s well known that eating too fast leads to indigestion and poor weight control. But making a habit of eating slowly is tough. The Hapifork (£80/$49) holds up a mirror to your eating behavior, showing how frequently you take bites and how long you’re taking to eat a meal. And when you’re rushing, it alerts you to slow down and savour every morsel.
If your mother’s voice in your head isn’t loud enough, there’s Lumo Lift (£59/$80), a magnetic sensor which attaches to your clothing and promises to correct bad posture by vibrating gently when you slouch. Bad posture is linked to back pain, low energy, and negative first impressions – all things we can do without. Endorsed by mothers everywhere.
Whether it’s your own cravings you want to conquer, or those of a loved one, the K Safe (£40/$50) is Santa’s recommended ‘commitment device’. Once you set the timer, whatever is in the container stays locked in until the time runs out – there’s no override button. A simple but clever way to limit screen time, snacking, smoking and the like. It’s jail for your material vices.
If anything was going to put an end to a yucky pen-chewing habit, this is it. The Poo Pen (£4/$5) not only makes nibbling a less attractive proposition, it deters potential potential stationery thieves too. Just don’t use it in client meetings.
If it’s time to get your kids into the habit of helping out around the house, the Magnetic Responsibility Chart (£15/$20) by Melissa & Doug makes it easy to reward them for behaving well and remind them when they’ve got work to do. Soon, you’ll be relaxing with a glass of wine while your offspring do all the heavy lifting. Right?
Michael Lewis’s new book, The Undoing Project (£17/$17) tells the fascinating story of the collaboration between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky – two behavioral science pioneers with very different personalities. If you liked Moneyball, you’ll love this – it’s a must-read for any behavioral economics enthusiast.