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Review: Bob - The Screen time Controller

Written on October 30, 2007 by Kevin.

Congradulations to LauraP. You are the random winner of the Bob device. You will be contacted shortly. Thank you everyone for participating in this giveaway. I encourage all of you to look at the Bob website and don't forget about the WebGoonies promotional code for 10% off + free shipping.

First off, I would like to thank Neil from Hopscotch Technologies for allowing me the opportunity to review this product. Our family loves to be the guinea pigs for products.

Onwards, Hopscotch Technologies introduced me to their new product called Bob which is a screen time controller. What is that you ask? Well its quite simple actually. The Bob is a hardware device that can be hooked up to a television, computer or anything else electronic that you don't want your kid to operate for long periods of time.

The bottom line is that too many kids watch too much television and this device is meant to alleviate the problem of having to tell your kids to turn it off. Simply hook your television to it, program the master account and then program your kids accounts. Each individual account (up to 6) can be programmed to allow certain hourly, daily or even weekly limits. When those assigned limits have been met, the television shuts off. Simple.

I felt like a bit of a fool when I first pictured this device in my head and how it would work. I figured your television would plug into the Bob device which then plugs into the standard power outlet. The kid would have to simply unplug the television and redirect it to the power outlet. Of course this wouldn't work and that is why once you plug your television into the Bob, there is a lock and key that prevents it from being removed. Why didn't I think of that?

Setting up this device was super simple. They provide a helpful guide and even throw in a bit of humor along the way. I went through the guide and setup my master account and two others for Rylan and my wife. Piece of cake. Each account has a individual pin which logs in that specific user and their time begins then. Rylan is a bit young to use this himself so I activated my wife's account without her knowing. It wasn't too long before her television access had been revoked and she came looking for answers. It worked, perfectly.

This device does the job well and they seemed to cover everything including the need to add additional time to someones schedule quickly. For example, when you just need 15 more minutes to watch the last of your ballgame. The Bob device will certainly be used in our house as the kids get older and more independent. I can most certainly see the benefits of this at keeping your kids television or computer access to a reasonable amount. The only thing that I found as a slight negative was the overall size of the device. Most of the size though is because of the need to lock the power cord into the unit but we did have an interesting time trying to find a place to leave this and still be accessible.

Hopscotch Technology is running a special right now on their website offering free shipping this week. Also, as a WebGoonies.com reader, they are offering an additional 10% off coupon until November 4th. Use discount code WebGoonies during the ordering process.

Want a free Bob for your own family? WebGoonies.com is proud to be offering it's first giveaway. Please leave a comment on how you think having a Bob would help your family and on November 3rd, we will be picking a random winner. Spread the word!

Comments

Please randomly choose me!

Written by Brooke on Oct 30, 2007

This would be great for just stopping my son from watching so much TV.

Written by Julie Mead on Oct 30, 2007

I am so glad to hear you found this easy to install and use. I've seen short write-ups about what it's supposed to do, but it's nice to know it DOES do it!

Written by Prisca on Oct 30, 2007

This is so cool! Please count me in!

Written by sam on Oct 30, 2007

AWSOME.. Sign me up!

Written by Angela Willis on Oct 30, 2007

I would LOVE to have this to limit computer time as well as TV time. I especially like that it's up to BOB to say "no more" and not me and my random timer!

Written by Lisa Wartner on Oct 30, 2007

Set it up and let it control the TV for the kids. I love that idea.

Written by Laura on Oct 30, 2007

I have been thinking a lot about controlling my son's screen time as he gets older and I think that this would help keep track of how much TV he is watching.

Written by Becky on Oct 30, 2007

I could so use this! It's not that my kids beg me to watch to TV all the time...they just sit in front of it and watch it when it's on. I'm the one who forgets to turn it off! This would be a great way of helping me "remember" their limits!

Written by Nunny11 on Oct 30, 2007

This would keep my little girl from watching tv too much.

Written by Monique on Oct 30, 2007

I would love to have this...it would help around the house and my techy husband would be in dream land!

Written by Susanne on Oct 30, 2007

I'd love to have this for my kids (and hubby).

Written by Divrchk on Oct 30, 2007

I would love this product...we have triplets...so believe me.....will be a great way to control how much they watch...!!1

Written by kathyz on Oct 30, 2007

I would LOVE to control how much tv my toddler watches! Awesome!

Written by Hannah C. on Oct 30, 2007

It would be so nice to have a better television timer than the egg timer. I swear they move back the time on it when I am not paying attention!

Written by Sabrina K. on Oct 30, 2007

a great product

Written by Deemy on Oct 31, 2007

this looks so cool

Written by Marcie Gardner on Oct 31, 2007

what a super smart idea, please let me win!

Written by grace on Oct 31, 2007

We only watch TV on the weekends but we sort of OD on it then - especially the kids. I think this device could help us to better manage our weekend TV time. I'd also like to see how it would work with the computer and Wii. Please consider our family for the drawing.

Written by sherri on Oct 31, 2007

it would be great to manage tv time for our kids!

Written by jessie on Oct 31, 2007

Looks like a great product.

Written by Jenette on Oct 31, 2007

Easy way to say "no more tv". Thanks for including me!

Written by Yvoone on Oct 31, 2007

What a great device... It is so hard to keep track of 4 kids on different screens while juggling a baby, homework, piano practice, etc... We could really use that!

Written by Ginger on Oct 31, 2007

I'm excited about a device like this for my daughter with autism - a timer that she can't manipulate would be wonderful!

Written by LauraP on Oct 31, 2007

This would be SOOOO helpful for my husband's family. He has a younger brother and sister, plus some foster sisters. It is a CONSTANT BATTLE over there to regulate screen time. Since we only live two miles from them, we constantly hear about it as well :D Please count me in for the drawing.

Written by Misty on Oct 31, 2007

Count me in. I'd love to have this for a friend of mine.

Written by Laura Williams on Oct 31, 2007

I know most people want this for their kids, but I could really use it for my husband. He agrees that he should watch less TV, but once it's on, it's like he loses all self-control. BOB could have self-control for him!

Written by Becky on Oct 31, 2007

This little device you are describing would change our life. WOW. I have been searching for a solution, but nothing has worked. We are at the end of our rope, ready to throw out the TV altogether. Hearing your review makes me all the more convinced.

Bob, I need you, I want you! Please come home to me!

Written by Lindy on Oct 31, 2007

I'd love for you to enter me... Thanks!

Written by Kristine on Oct 31, 2007

This looks like a great idea. We have two small children who are addicted to television. This looks like it would be a good way to wean them away from the TV and get them doing something more productive (like reading).

Written by Jeff Chadwell on Oct 31, 2007

This is just what every parent needs.

Written by Tonya on Oct 31, 2007

Love this concept for limiting tv/game/computer time. Time is up when it up and no more whining and conjoling for more time. Great for me!!!

Written by alice on Nov 1, 2007

Definitely time to get one of these... my 3 1/2 year old has a hard time with the phrase, "OK. We're all done..." Now, I can see this as a LITTLE HELPER for this Mom! It will help reinforce what Mom already said (repeatedly), "We're all done :0)"

Written by Tami on Nov 1, 2007

Oh boy, this would mean that when I tell my son to get off the computer, he wouldn't tell me, "just let me finish this level", and play for another half hour! :D

Written by Barb on Nov 1, 2007

If Bob will stop my kids from kicking and screaming every time I try to get them off the computer, I will name my next son after him...

Written by Natalie on Nov 1, 2007

This would help us with our son and his tv viewing big time.

Written by Kevin on Nov 1, 2007

Sounds pretty neat. I can see this being a Christmas present the kids won't soon forget.

Written by Bart on Nov 1, 2007

Very clever !! Would Love to have this in our home !

Written by lisa page on Nov 2, 2007

This product looks amazing . . . and it would really come in handy! I'd love to win - thanks for the giveaway!

Written by JewelsHud on Nov 2, 2007

This product sounds great. With 2 young children
I know we could use it!

Written by linda on Nov 2, 2007

This would be great for us we always set at the tv to eat, I mean my niece when she is home is always watching it she wont take her eyes off. If we could just get some more family time in that would be great to us and get off this computer more for me I should be in bed and am not because this thing just gets so addicting.

Written by Malinda on Nov 2, 2007

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