Circle Media, Inc. recently launched a new device and app with Disney, that allows parents to be more informed about their kids’ online activities while also limiting family screen time on every device in the home. That includes smart phones, tablets, computers, and even gaming consoles.
The Circle With Disney device and app combo works by pairing with a family’s home Wi-Fi and then acts as the gateway to the other devices on the family’s network. It does so by using a technique called ARP spoofing, more often associated with "black hats" to compromise network security. However, in this instance the technique is what allows Circle to monitor all traffic on a home network automatically, without special configurations.
For instance, if a parent has configured Circle to block access to a gambling site, it does so by stopping any attempts to connect to sites that host that kind of content. Circle Media explains that it doesn't store a family’s internet use on its servers, nor does the company anonymize it and store aggregated information, or sell or share a user’s information with anyone.
The end result is that parents have the ability to exercise a number of controls over multiple elements of content access and interaction, while that data remains secure to each user. Parents can filter content according to pre-set levels or by customizing according to age and content. Each user’s profile and settings can be completely customized based on age and parents’ preferences. If a guest joins the home’s Wi-Fi, Circle With Disney can apply a family’s home settings to visitors’ devices.
Other settings include BedTime, that allows parents to set daily sleep and awake times for each device, a timer that allows them to set time limits for using each device and overall Internet access, and the ability to pause the internet. Circle With Disney also allows parents to see a member’s total time spent online and the sites visited.
A licensing partnership with Disney provides families who use Circle with access to curated Disney entertainment that includes videos, blogs, gifs, emojis, music, games, and characters through a unique experience called MyCircle. By early 2016, parents concerned about what their kids are accessing when they’re not around will have the ability to use a companion subscription, called Circle Go. This will cover all iOS devices when they are outside the home, including use on 4G LTE.
Last year, Kudoso announced a similar device that worked through a user’s router, but it's yet to go to market with an available product.
Here's a short video illustrating how Circle With Disney works in the home.
Source: Meet Circle