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Want people to put down their phone more often? Ransomly creates 'quiet' spaces to help us reconnect with the real people in our lives.
Want people to put down their phone more often? Ransomly creates 'quiet' spaces to help us reconnect with the real people in our lives.
185 backers pledged $12,627 to help bring this project to life.

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Ransomly | A bluetooth beacon to make any room app-free. project video thumbnail
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$12,627

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Create a distraction-free space that facilitates connection. 

In today’s “always on” world, we need more than four physical walls to create a safe, quiet space to connect. We now need digital walls too. That's why we created Ransomly, a bluetooth beacon and app that blocks your home screen when you are in range of its signal.  It is great for a dining room, a bedroom, a car, or any other place you want to automatically unplug.   We like to think we are creating "Space For Humanity". 

How the beacon works

Bluetooth Beacons

When you have the Ransomly app installed on your Android phone and you are in range of a Ransomly Beacon, the home screen will be locked. It's perfect for dining rooms, bedrooms, classrooms or wherever you want to create a space to connect with those around you. When your IOS phone enters into range, it will receive a notification to put away your phone.  We are collaborating with an established beacon manufacturer to ensure our hardware is reliable.        

More Beacon Specs

  • Battery powered with 2 year lifetime
  • iBeacon™ compliant 
  • Adjustable range up to 70m

A quick demo of the beacon shot in my apartment with my lovely fiancé:

 The beacon with friends:

 

Hold your friends' apps for 'ransom' with the Ransomly app.

In addition to creating cellphone-free spaces, the Ransomly app allows you to limit or restrict your friend/ family-member/ or employee's apps by sending a personalized "ransom" note. For example, you can block your boyfriend's/girlfriend's Instagram until the dishes are cleared from the kitchen sink. Or you can prevent your son/daughter from accessing Facebook or Snapchat until they do their homework. The possibilities are endless!

BBC News reported that 5 to 16 year olds spend an average of 6.5 hours/day in front of screens.
BBC News reported that 5 to 16 year olds spend an average of 6.5 hours/day in front of screens.

Help us put an end to "phubbing" 

What we need and what you get:

Everyone on the team really wants Ransomly in their home so we are going to build this thing no matter what.  And we are far along in the process: we have begun beta testing.  But we still need your support. 

Other Ways You Can Help:

 If you believe in our mission to create more connection is worthy, please pick up a beacon, t-shirt, or bracelet. We want to protect spaces from distraction all over the world.

  • Share this campaign, join us on Facebook or sign up for the Ransomly newsletter 
  • Pick up one of our  "disconnect to connect" bracelets.  Wear it as a reminder to unplug daily. 
  • Even if you don't intend to use it, you can pick up a Ransomly Beacon as a visual reminder to unplug.

In the news

We are excited to see this idea is being picked up!

San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union Tribune

 

Risks and challenges

I have been developing software that promotes well-being ever since completing graduate work in applied psychology at UPenn (GratitudeBucket.com, NudgeKick.com).

The team has past experience with the Internet of Things with emberlight.co and blocking software with NudgeKick.com so we do not expect any major hurdles.

Our only concern involve expectations. Backers may buy our beacon with IOS phones thinking it will behave like the Android version. So we want to take the time here to use as another reminder: app blocking will only occur on Android. The IOS version will send you notification to unplug when you enter the range of the Ransomly beacon.

Also, in general, bluetooth signals are picked up intermittently by a phone. This results in our users having brief, random intervals of access to home screen even while in range of the beacon. Though the phone is not always locked when in range of a beacon, we find that access is restricted so often as to make the phone virtually unusable.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Digital Thank You

    We will create a Gratitude Bucket (gratitudebucket.com) for you and list you on our site as a pioneer of the Disconnect To Connect movement.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Disconnect To Connect Wristband

    Disconnect To Connect Bracelet similar in style to the 'Live Strong' bracelets but without all the lying and doping associations. Wear it as a reminder to unplug and connect with those around you.

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    10 backers
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    One Ransomly Beacon & app (Early Bird)

    The Ransomly beacon creates an app-free room. On Android, when a phone comes within range of the beacon, it will automatically lock home screen. Perfect for family dining rooms, study rooms, or the car.
    On IOS the Ransomly beacon will give the user a notification that they have entered a tech-free zone.

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    Reward no longer available 30 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One Ransomly Beacon & app

    The Ransomly beacon creates an app-free room. On Android, when a phone with the Ransomly app comes within range of the beacon, it will automatically lock home screen. Perfect for family dining rooms, study rooms, or the car.

    On IOS the Ransomly beacon will give the user a notification that they have entered a tech-free zone.

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    90 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    Family Kit

    Three Ransomly Beacons and 2 parental app accounts. Set up beacons in the room(s) you want to be tech-free. Using more than one beacon in a room increases the reliability of the beacon signals.
    Parental accounts allow you to block apps on a child's account but they will not be able to block apps on your account.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    Corporate kit - 10 beacons

    10 Ransomly Beacons and 10 corporate app accounts. Set up beacons in the room you want to be tech-free. Perfect for conference rooms, meditation spaces, and presentation halls.

    Corporate accounts allow you to block apps on employee's phone.

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    5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Corporate kit & consulting

    10 Ransomly Beacons and 15 corporate app accounts. Set up beacons in the room you want to be tech-free. Perfect for conference rooms, meditation spaces, and presentation halls.

    Corporatel accounts allow you to block apps on employee's phone.

    Receive up to 3 hours consulting from an expert in well-being and tech. Learn latest research in happiness & productivity as well as how to use Ransomly to increase employee well-being.

    Too much screen time can present real health problems as well decrease productivity in the long run. Learn to effectively manage screen time within your organization.

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Funding period

- (60 days)