Designer's improvement on phone reminders: Um, a band

Technically Incorrect: The Flip Band is a band that you wear to remind yourself to do things. It's less Livestrong and more, well, what?

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

And when you've succeeded in achieving your goal, you just flip it over. Flip Band.

I keep everything in my head.

I don't write things down. I don't set reminders. If I forget to do something, I simply slap my face for several hours.

But we've established I'm a touch eccentric. Many people write notes to themselves. The very modern ones set themselves phone reminders.

One designer, however, believes there's a better way: wear a band around your wrist. To encourage you to do this, he's selling a band that you can wear around your wrist.

It's called the Flip Band and it's exceeding its goal amount on Kickstarter.

Its claim is that it's the simple way to stick to a goal. Any goal. But there must be something fancy, clever or at least original about it, no?

Well, it's double-sided. You wear it on one side to remind you of your goal. When you've reached it, you flip the band over to tell the whole world (and yourself) that you're a truly marvelous person who achieves his or her goals.

The man behind it, Victor Mathieux, insists it's all based on behavioral science. He claims that science has proved you need a trigger. So here is this piece of fancy rubber to trigger you all the time. It's like a wearable probation officer. It's like an electric shock without the electric part.

The genesis, he told me, was this: "One day, I realized that despite having three reminders set on my phone to 'do pushups & take vitamins,' I still wasn't doing it."

That's because you're weak, Victor, very weak. Did you try slapping your face for several hours?

You may have heard this story arc before, but since Mathieux has been using the Flip Band (which, did I mention, he invented), he's a new man.

He revealed: "So far, I've used a Flip Band to successfully build several new habits, including: morning pushups -- 235 days in a row now -- expressing gratitude daily and eating something green every day."

His body, he told me, "now craves green all the time." I had a tortoise once that did that.

Here, though, is the true evidence that Flip Band is powerful: "I even used it to launch this Kickstarter by only allowing myself to go to bed if I had done at least one small thing to make Flip Band a reality that day."

He invented a band to remind him to launch the band. There really is a peculiar genius to all this.

If Lance Armstrong and others can sell you a band so that you feel differently about yourself, why not this?

You can get two Flip Bands for a mere $19. What a small price to finally be the great TV star you keep forgetting to become.

Mathieux has a waggish side to him. He claims that with his Flip Band the batteries never run out, the product is waterproof, and "unlike most apps," it won't distract you with notifications. That's principally because it's not an app.

Are you persuaded? Will wearing a band make you do the things you know you must do? Will you get an exalted sense of satisfaction from achieving your goal, turning your band over and showing it off?

Will everyone at work be wearing Flip Bands and comparing goals at work? ("My goal is to get you fired, Jonathan.")

Let me know if you're going to wear one. Let me hang on your wrist until you tell me.