Whether it’s being used for playing videogames or the binge watching of TV shows, the television continues to help adults and kids procrastinate.
Drive is an outlet adapter that connects to a home Wi-Fi network and receives instructions from its owner on when to enable or disable the use of a TV. It works in conjunction with an Android, iOS and Windows app. If parents don’t want their kids to watch TV or play games until they are done with their homework or household chores, Drive can be used to bar those children from using the TV for a set period of time. If adults make a New Year’s resolution to exercise and lose weight, but can’t manage to bring themselves to turn off the TV, Drive can be set to automatically block the TV from being used until they burn some calories.
Drive ships in October at $79, but that SKU only includes a basic app that limits screen time on the TV that Drive is connected to. Its makers, however, also plan an $89 SKU including a one-year subscription for DriveWare, a more advanced app that also disables the use of other connected devices that stream video. Early bird Indiegogo backers can get Drive for a pledge starting at $69. Its makers hope to raise $100,000 by March 13.
Drive isn’t the first device to regulate kids’ screen time, following products including VexBox. That particular effort slowed down Internet usage for children until they finished their homework or chores. Although the concept holds some appeal for parents, it remains likely that kids will find some other way to procrastinate if they can’t watch TV, surf the Internet or play videogames. Meanwhile, the concept of adults using Drive to regulate their own screen time seems even more problematic because it seems likely that many of those without enough motivation to stop watching TV to do more important things won’t be stopped by a device that they themselves can control the settings for.