Review: Bob - The Screen time Controller
Written on October 30, 2007 by Kevin.
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 It wasn't too long before her television access had been revoked and she came looking for answers.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!