Can anyone honestly say that built-in parental controls on devices really work? No one? Well, nobody thought so. Chances are, kids these days know how to work around them, being tech-savvy and all. But Disney, the company that brings so much joy to children everywhere, is rolling out Circle With Disney, a $100 box that'll control what kids do on the Internet.
What the creators Jelani Memory, Lance Charlish and Tiebing Zhang had in mind was a device that'll give parents complete control over their children's Internet usage. When Disney heard of it, it immediately sought a partnership with the startup. Before it was named Circle With Disney, it started out simply as Circle.
The little white box works with iOS apps, and by "complete control," it means that parents everywhere can set timers, filter online content, block ads, check insights, manage devices that can and cannot connect to the Internet and even monitor usage history. What's more, at a touch of button, moms and dads can pause and restart the Internet. On the other hand, the power button isn't a one-tap on-off deal, so sneaky kids won't be able to work around it.
To use Circle With Disney, it only needs to gain access to the router. The "rules" can then be set using its mobile app, which is free on the App Store.
"Circle is a device, managed by an iOS app, that enables you to choose how you and your family spend time online by using advanced filtering, time management systems and informing to answer the where, when, why, and how of your network's Internet activity," Circle says on its Kickstarter page.
Of course, this isn't the first device that grants parental controls, as there are a lot of them in the market already. But what makes Circle With Disney different is that parents can actually use it. Earlier similar devices are just too complicated to use, so an average non-technical parent won't be able to use it effectively.
Pairing up with Disney was a nice move because what better way to market an access-restricting device for children than with their favorite characters? But in all seriousness, Circle With Disney could become one of the most effective parental control devices around.