Adults and children alike spend increasing amounts of time glued to the screens of tablets and phones – and who can blame them; they are great fun after all and useful too!
But for some parents, getting their kids out in the summer sunshine – or even having a conversation! – can sometimes prove a little tricky when they’re determined to reach the next level in the latest game.
Screen Time Labs, based at world-leading Bristol-based business incubator SETsquared, has come up with a revolutionary app which aims to reduce these parental-woes by limiting and incentivising screen-time automatically – making it easier for parents to take control of how much time their children spend on their tablets and phones.
“Screen Time Labs cuts down on arguments and empowers kids to manage their own time“
Steve came up with the idea after experiencing the usual parent-based frustrations when it came to getting his kids away from their shiny new iPads: “When spring came round they were too glued to tablets to go and play outdoors.”
He explains, “As I was a developer I fancied having a go at writing an app and developing software to manage the amount of time they spent playing MineCraft and other games.”
“The software is field-hardened by 10-year-old kids who have a liking for hacking”
The Screen Time app works remotely, allowing the parent to use their own phone or device to set time-limits, pause, or block their child’s phone or tablet use. The app even has safety features such as the ability to view a child’s web and search history or block them from downloading certain apps.
Children can gain more time on their devices too, by completing certain tasks or chores such as ‘Go do your homework’ or ‘Walk the dog’. Check out the video below to see the app in action:
The benefits, as Steve puts them, are fairly impressive too: “Screen Time gets kids to play outside and interact more with others, and there is peace of mind that they’re not spending all their time on a tablet.
“It cuts down on arguments, empowers kids to manage their own time, nurture good-behaviour and lays down ground rules that are mutually agreed.”
Success across the globe
Commenting on the app’s increasing success, Steve says: “We’ve had good reviews from US child and education psychologists and it is used by those working in children’s e-security. In the US this tends to be Sheriff departments, in the UK a mix of teachers and police.”
“We launched the iOS version of the app in time for Christmas 2015 and doubled our revenue over this period”
“We’ve also had positive feedback from around the globe, especially as we’ve developed it with Android and iOS and continue to evolve it alongside their developments. The software is also field-hardened by 10-year-old kids who have a liking for hacking!”
Screen Time Lab’s success doesn’t stop there either and they’re still growing. Steve explains: “Maintaining the same level of growth, the customers numbers and reach, we launched the iOS version of the app in time for Christmas 2015 and doubled our revenue over this period.”
“We want to continue to grow, ensure we are available on other platforms and are looking at South America and Asia to push out.”
“It’s great having such a vibrant tech scene and start-up network to learn from”
Commenting on the support Screen Time Labs has received from SETsquared, Steve adds: “SetSquared has helped us to grow and it’s great having such a vibrant tech scene and start-up network to learn from. It’s a great pool of talent developer wise which for a company like ours, is important.”
Steve also offers some words of wisdom to those working on their own start-up plans: “Failure is good if you learn from it – that obstacles should be overcome – as it usually leads to progression. Don’t give up.”
Many thanks to Steve for taking the time to chat to us. You can find out how to trial Screen Time Labs for free on the Screen Time Labs website. You can also stay up-to-date with the app’s developments by following its Twitter page: @screentimelabs.