Most of us have some bad habit we wish we could break, and there may finally be a smart device that can help us finally kick it. The company HabitAware has created Liv, a smart bracelet that looks a whole lot like your average fitness tracker but whose main function is to tell you when you’re engaging in a habit you want to quit.
While this sounds super intriguing to a perpetual nail biter like myself, it could mean even more to someone suffering from trichotillomania, which is the obsessive-compulsive disorder in which people pull out their own hair (including brows and lashes, too). It affects about 4 percent of the population and can be embarrassing and problematic for those with the condition.
In fact, Liv became a reality because HabitAware co-founder Aneela Kumar suffers from trichotillomania, even telling Yahoo Beauty that she managed to keep the disorder from her husband and business partner Sameer Kumar for years.
So how does this smart device work? It enables motion sensors that learn the movements you use when you’re about to participate in a bad habit and then send out an alert to let you know what you’re about to do is a no-no.
“When you get the bracelet out of the box, you fire up the smartphone app that will connect with the device and walk you through the one-time calibration flow,” Sameer told Yahoo Beauty. “Aneela does eyebrows and eyelashes, so she’ll move differently than someone who pulls hair from the back of their head. You hit record, and that gesture is stored in the device itself. Every time the user does that behavior, they will get a gentle vibration. After a few days of use, we already see heightened awareness.”
Aneela actually chose to wear one of the bracelets on each hand, as they’re both culprits in her trichotillomania. Within six months of using Liv she found that she had increased ability to stop herself from pulling out her lashes and brows.
Aside from sending out in-the-moment alerts that you’re about to engage your bad habit, the bracelet will also pick up on triggers that might send you into a nail-biting frenzy, and let you know it’s time to keep an eye on it and stay present.
Now if it could stop people from snacking or eating junk food instead of a healthy diet, I’d place an order right now. Maybe the next generation? Here’s hoping.