$1,143
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
9
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 8 2015
John MassengaleBy John Massengale
First created
John MassengaleBy John Massengale
First created
$1,143
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
9
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 8 2015

About

The story

In our home, the argument usually starts something like this.  "Where's the iPad?"  Leading to "Have you done your homework?"  Many of you know the negotiations that start there..  We limit our kids games and electronics, but tracking their time is a pain.  I knew of apps to lock and limit certain devices, but we needed something for several different devices. 

In talking with other parents, limiting kids video game time and screen time seems to be a common issue.  That's when I started the Game Nanny Box project, a timed lockbox to simplify family screen time.

While it may be easy to let your tablet babysit your kid, smart parents know screen time should be limited. Too much screen time interferes with sports, academics, and many other activities.  It is also hard too pass that responsibility to a sitter or child's grandparent when you are away.

What is Game Nanny Box?

Game Nanny Box (GNB) is a multi-shelf lockbox for charging and managing kids screen time and game time. I believe this is the first parental control device that works with tablets, console game controllers, and mini console games. The GNB uses a small screen, keypad, and electronic latches to control access to the contents. The keypad is used to check-out devices to users during a time window, for an allotted time each day.

How does it work?

  • Child enters PIN and chooses which door to check out from.

  • If time is within allowed window, child can open door and start timer.

  • Countdown timer runs on screen, and audible warning at 5 minutes and 1 minute.

  • Child returns tablet or device and uses keypad to check-in.

  • If check-in is late, GNB charges a time penalty against the next day.

  • Parents check GNB status and contents at the end of the day.

  • If device is missing, parents can penalize or block user for X days.

Other features

  • Parents can customize allowed check-out times, and windows, for weekdays and weekends.

  • Parents can penalize X minutes, or block for X days at any point by logging in.

  • Users can update their own PIN, but admin can change.

  • Has 2 USB ports inside, for charging iDevices and most 5v devices.

  • Multiple doors allow customized access, like little sibling can only get access to top door.

Why crowdfunding and Kickstarter?

I chose crowdfunding not only for the funding, but also for market feedback on this new parental control product. There are already a few  GNBs created, but is the idea good enough for a consumer product? We would love to have more parents check out this new product and give feedback.

The prototypes so far use utilize off-the-shelf electronic components, but an initial circuit board design is complete and being tested. Funds are needed to complete the power supply design and complete the testing. The Kickstarter goal is for initial funding, beyond that I hope to invest in streamlining production and adding more features. 

I could have choose a larger target goal and thus real case manufacturing, but statistically larger projects fail to reach their funding goal. Therefore I am sticking with the options of solid wood case or expanded PVC.   I appreciate the beauty of stained wood, but will post pictures of the black 'plastic' model when it is ready.

During a Kickstarter, a project sometimes evolves with feedback.  The case is a hurdle I want more feedback on, but I will let backers choose between the case options.  Also stretch goals could expand the GNB features.

Prototype circuit board
Prototype circuit board

Rewards
Backers can choose a level to support the project, and will receive the corresponding reward.  Copies of the Game Nanny Box are available at the $179 level.  I included some less expensive rewards for supporters who don't need a GNB but appreciate the overall goal.  I started working with 3D printing for this project and can offer these 3D prints to backers at the $25 level.  Choose one of these or back it for $45 and choose any phone-case sized item from Thingiverse or other download site.

3D printed rewards
3D printed rewards

Stretch Goals

If the project reaches $15K I will include device-tracking using RFID stickers, and if we reach $25K I will add Wifi as well.  Parents could apply RFID stickers to tablets or devices, then GNB will know which device are actually inside and track them more closely.  With addition of Wifi, parents or sitters could check and control the GNB from their smartphones.

*iPad is a registered trademark of Apple

Risks and challenges

With any project there are some risks. One risk would be delays from suppliers. If the project is trending towards funding, I will prepare my orders for components. I have not experienced shortages or delays so far, and could obtain the parts elsewhere if necessary.

I do still have to complete the charger design. I am currently using off-the-shelf components for charging the contained tablets and devices. It would be best to incorporate the charging curcuit on my custom circuit board. I have learned some circuit design, but I also have design help I can leverage for this. I will also seek out others with similar challenges, and one option is to use the same solution I am currently using.

If there is a large enough demand for this product, I will have to analyze how to scale up in production and assembly. However, I have made some contacts and had discussions with local manufacturers and inventors who have gone down this road. Also some contacts in the local startup and VC community can produce further leads if needed.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Support the idea, every little bit helps. Pledge and get your name or company immortalized on our supporters page, and receive project updates.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Choose one of the 3D printed items shown on the project page. Includes continental US shipping. Also get your name on our supporters page.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Support the idea and get a project T-shirt. Includes continental US shipping. Also get your name on our supporters page. Specify size.

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    Pledge $179 or more About $179

    Early bird special edition of the Game Nanny Box. Simplify family screen time at your house. Get the GNB at a special Kickstarter price for our early supporters. Shipping is an extra $10. Get your name on our supporters page, and our heartfelt thanks.

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    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    Receive a Game Nanny Box and simplify family screen time at your house. Shipping is extra $10. Get your name on our supporters page, and our heartfelt thanks.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Get a Game Nanny Box, plus a long weekend in beautiful Vieques, Puerto Rico. Vieques is a gorgeous, sparsely-populated, island off of PR. Includes airfare for 2 (from NY/Houston/Miami), transportation from San Juan, and 3 nights ocean view accommodations. Also I'll throw in a lobster dinner and bio bay trip for 2. Must conform to condo schedule, contact me for details.

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Funding period

- (30 days)