About this project
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Parents today are faced with a dilemma about how to manage the amount of time their kids spend on the internet and the content they are exposed to. Statistics show that the average home has 5.7 connected devices and kids spend more than 7.5 hours a day on the Internet.
Existing solutions are based on a control model that is not only ineffective in managing the many devices in our homes, but also jeopardizes the relationships we have with our children by punishing them, instead of teaching them life skills.
Kudoso lets you set goals for your children that unlock screen time for the sites you approve. Kudoso is more effective than other solutions for managing internet access because of its unique combination of cloud based software and custom hardware that only lets the Internet content you approve enter your home.
Over the past 18 months we have been developing Kudoso and Beta testing Version 1 with families around the nation. We are currently developing a new set of software features for Version 2, which is why we need your help.
Kudoso is designed to be easy to set up and use, and allows you to manage your home's devices through one simple interface. Since our software is in the cloud, you can manage technology allowances with your phone or other mobile connected devices even when you are away from home.
Kudoso lets your children earn points (by doing chores, studying or even exercising) that allow them to access the internet sites you approve for blocks of time that you define.
From the dashboard you can quickly adjust the rewards your children can access and even set different point levels for each reward, letting you decide if there is a difference in "price" between movies on Netflix and nature programs on National Geographic.
Your child accumulates points in a variety of ways, including viewing one of the thousands of educational lessons available on Khan Academy, giving you a great way to motivate and track your child's academic progress in the subjects you choose.
As parents you can select chores from our age appropriate bundles or create your own custom chores, tailored to your family's needs. We've integrated these features to save you time, so you can spend more of it with your family.
How It Works
Kudoso uses our custom software installed on a high speed Internet router to manage your family's internet access at the source. By using the router as the controller for allowing content into your home, Kudoso is significantly more effective than traditional solutions that rely on software only. We know our customers value choice, so we'll deliver version 2.0 of Kudoso in two formats:
- Software and Hardware - Kudoso Version 2.0 software and a router with the Kudoso firmware pre-installed.
- Software only - Kudoso Version 2.0 software that you install on one of the four approved routers listed below.
Supported Router Alternatives
1) Asus RT-N16
Regardless of which Kudoso option you choose we'll provide full support for you and your family.
If we exceed our target funding amount, we'll add features that make Kudoso even better! Our first stretch goal is to integrate the Fitbit activity tracker, empowering parents to set movement goals and reward their children for physical activity. When these goals are met, you can choose the amount of extra points they earn and help instill healthy habits at a young age.
If your donations exceed this first level, we have a host of other goals our community has told us will help make your family's management of technology more effective.
Kudoso In Action
We could talk all day about how easy Kudoso is to use, but instead of doing that we've put together a few videos showing how easy it is to set up the Kudoso software:
Once each Child has been added you'll be presented with a list of age appropriate chores - you can use these or create your own.
Adding activities is easy and is a great way to reinforce the connection between effort and rewards!
Adding or updating chores is easy, using a process very similar to that of adding or updating rewards, which is just as easy.
Why We Need Your Help
Over the course of our beta testing we've gotten some great feedback that we're using to drive a new set of features in Version 2. Our users helped us identify 3 main areas to expand the product in Version 2, with your help we can make these a reality!
In order to effectively manage the Internet content that comes into your house we need to supply a router that is robust enough to handle all of your family's devices.
We're working with TP-Link and Ingram Micro to procure a device that offers the performance, security and reliability today's families needs. With the Kickstarter funding we'll be able to quickly meet customer order demands.
2) Content Integration
Kudoso allows you to easily choose what Internet content comes into your home, but we wanted more. Users loved our tight integration with Khan Academy in version 1. In Version 2, we'll be adding more and deeper connections, allowing you to take advantage of ratings available on sites like Netflix and other filtering features on favorites like Nick, Amazon, Youtube, and Facebook. We have identified what's required to integrate these and other sites, but we need your donations to build these new features, and make Kudoso Version 2 function where you need it most.
3) "Smart" Tracking
In Version 1 of Kudoso, we created the ability for parents to assign any of the thousands of lessons available on Khan Academy with the click of a button, allowing our Beta testers to set education goals for their kids & empowering them to earn more time on their favorite approved sites.
With your donations, in Version 2 we will expand on this "smart" tracking by building quiz integration, giving parents the ability to reward their children for reaching specific scores, such as getting a 9/10 on Trigonometry practice.
Where Does The Donation Money Go?
With our Version 1 product already built, we've put a significant amount of time and money into getting Kudoso functioning in the real world. That said, we still need your help with adding features to Version 2 & setting up our supply chain to quickly deliver product to our customers.
With your help we'll be able to source the right hardware and bring device management to your home without compromising internet performance. We've already been working on Kudoso Version 2.0 and are ready to bring it to your family shortly after the campaign finishes!
What If I Want To Use Other Hardware?
While we recommend letting us supply you with the pre-installed hardware, we know some of our supporters like to do that themselves. For those donors we'll support four popular routers already available on the market.
Supported Router alternatives
1) Asus RT-N16
3 Reasons Why You Can Feel Good About Donating To Kudoso:
1) We've already built the product and been testing it for 18 months
Version 1 has already been beta tested, and we've had some great feedback, which we are using to expand in Version 2. We have an exciting list of features we are ready to add to Kudoso with your help and donations.
2) More than 50 years of experience working with tech products
I have worked in the technology industry for over 30 years, both at the executive level (sales, marketing and product management) and in customer support, where and built a large (60+ people) organization. Our software development team has over two decades of experience building successful consumer products on a variety of technology platforms.
3) I'm a father of three kids aged 8-17, I created this because I need it too!
Nobody knows better than a mother or father how big this problem really is. My wife Hiroko and I have three active, curious, technology savvy kids and couldn't always be there to say "no more iPad". We needed a cooperative way for our family to manage technology in our home . For us this is more than just Version 2, it is a passion to help families like ours find a solution that doesn't undermine their relationships with their children.
REWARD FULFILLMENT, SHIPPING, AND TIMING
When this campaign ends, all backers will receive an email letting them know the status of the Kudoso Kickstarter project. If our project reaches the $50,000 funding amount, we will send every donor a detailed report documenting the phase our team is at, and when you should expect your new Kudoso unit at your front door. Based on what our developers and suppliers have indicated, we are confident that the Kudoso Version 2 unit will be shipped by soon after the campaign completes!
During the testing and procurement phase of Kudoso Version 2, we will be sending out email updates weekly to keep you informed of the progress being made towards getting your new Kudoso unit out the door for Christmas time!
Risks and challenges
Our project has a few potential challenges that we intend to overcome with your support:
1) Content Provider Integration
With so many sources of great content from Netflix to Youtube to Amazon, integrating the Kudoso hardware and software to handle these popular sources will require software development time. Our team of talented programmers have deep experience developing, testing and delivering software products and we are confident that we can build and deliver additional content provider integrations.
We are working hard to procure the best performance router for Kudoso to ensure that we can deliver a reliable product, scale to meet customer demand and hit our delivery dates.
3) Customer Service
Outstanding customer service is embedded in our DNA, we'll implement this in stages, including:
- Videos to guide parents through common functions for every feature in in the product such as setup, adding chores, adding devices, and retrieving forgotten passwords to name a few.
- Online support system to quickly and accurately handle your questions as you install and use Kudoso.
This is an area where we have a lot of experience, however it will take time to create and scale this capability.
All projects of this type come with problems that need to be solved, we've spent a significant amount of time planning for success so we can deliver version 2 of Kudoso as quickly as possible!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There are two options:
1) Connect the Kudoso router to your existing router, move any of your kids' directly (wired) connected devices over to the Kudoso router, change the password on your existing Wifi network & follow the setup process we provide.
2) Replace your existing router with the Kudoso router and follow the setup process documented we provide.
In order to provide the best protection and safety for your children, we made a decision that Kudoso would be a hardware and software product and that we would monitor internet traffic coming in and out of our home at the very highest (and thus safest) level. In order to do this we need need a powerful router with some specific capabilities.
For those desiring a more technical explanation, please see the FAQ on Kudoso Firmward.
The standard Kudoso package (hardware and software) checks / filters traffic coming into your home at the packet level, doing this without affecting Internet performance requires two things:
1) Processor speed
Most routers on the market today fail to meet one or both of the above requirements, hence our decision to limit support to devices we know will deliver a great customer experience for you.
For the firmware only solution, the explanation is a bit more technical:
Kudoso is built on top of open source software that requires some customization for every router. This is because the router hardware world has a lot of permutations - there are about 30 different cpu's, 500 different SOC (system on a chip) combinations and 5 different architectures for the routers out there.
As Kudoso continues to grow, we'll continue to evaluate expanding router support.
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