Mobile Technology

TechDen helps parents limit kids' screen-time

TechDen helps parents limit ki...
The TechDen on display at IFA 2018
The TechDen on display at IFA 2018
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Onscreen notifications let the child know how much time they left in each session, plus the TechDen app on the parent's phone lets them know when and for how long each child's device is use
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Onscreen notifications let the child know how much time they left in each session, plus the TechDen app on the parent's phone lets them know when and for how long each child's device is use
Using an iOS/Android app, a parent can schedule daily windows of time in which each of the TechDen's two doors are automatically unlocked, letting either of two children access their devices.
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Using an iOS/Android app, a parent can schedule daily windows of time in which each of the TechDen's two doors are automatically unlocked, letting either of two children access their devices.
The TechDen on display at IFA 2018
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The TechDen on display at IFA 2018
View gallery - 3 images

While most parents don't want their kids spending too much time on their smartphones or tablets, it can be difficult to monitor how long they've been using such a device, and to keep it out of temptation's way when it's not in use. Well, that's why the TechDen was created.

Unveiled this week at the IFA 2018 consumer electronics show in Berlin, TechDen is essentially a lockable station that can store and charge two Apple or Android devices at once – it accommodates tablets up to 10.5 inches in screen size.

Using an iOS/Android app, a parent can schedule daily windows of time in which each of the TechDen's two doors are automatically unlocked, letting either of two children access their devices. Within those windows, the parent sets a maximum amount of allowable screen time – a child's smartphone might be accessible from 6 to 8pm, for instance, although they'd only be allowed to actually use it for a total of 30 minutes within that time.

Using an iOS/Android app, a parent can schedule daily windows of time in which each of the TechDen's two doors are automatically unlocked, letting either of two children access their devices.
Using an iOS/Android app, a parent can schedule daily windows of time in which each of the TechDen's two doors are automatically unlocked, letting either of two children access their devices.

Onscreen notifications let the child know how much time they left in each session, plus the app on the parent's phone lets them know when and for how long each child's device is use. The app also tracks how often the child promptly returns their device to the TechDen, once their screen-time limit is up. After a certain number of on-time returns, they'll be able to claim a previously-agreed-upon reward (such as getting ice cream, etc) from their parents.

The TechDen is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$119 will get you one ... assuming it reaches production, that is. Its estimated retail price is $199.

Source: Kickstarter, TechDen

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2 comments
TErber
As much as I appreciate effort whole concept is over engineered, in real life app is fully sufficient, at least one I use. Kids are interested in their tablets only during their allocated screentime, and honestly I couldn't care less if they will charge them or not, if they forget they will simply not be able to use it.
Gregg Eshelman
@TErber a gold parenting star for you! :) Actually talking with your kids and setting boundaries and guidelines.
Far better than trying to let some machine handle things. Kids that grow up with good relations with their parents do better in life.
Just say no to the Sci-Fi future of children raised by robot nannies, whether it be one all purpose bot or a system distributed among many devices.