American startup Circle Media has teamed up with Disney to help parents rein in kids’ screen time.
Launched this week, Circle with Disney is a device that lets parents manage their kids’ screen time and filter content for every device in the home, including smart phones, tablets, computers and gaming consoles. Available for US$99 from meetcircle.com, and managed through a free companion app, the device works with in-home Wi-Fi to give parents the ability to filter content, set a bedtime for devices and completely pause the internet, if need be.
There are four preset age-levels that allows for further customization by platform, app, website and content category. Circle with Disney also recognizes when a guest joins the home’s Wi-Fi and can apply a family’s home settings to visitors’ gear, and it can block ads for any user’s devices.
Each user’s profile and settings can also be completely customized based on age and parents’ preferences.
Additionally, in early 2016 Circle with Disney Go will deliver the same key features of Circle but for on-the-go smartphone devices.
For now, thanks to a licensing partnership with Disney, the tool grants access to digital entertainment straight from the House of Mouse. Circle with Disney will deliver a curated selection of Disney content including videos, blogs, gifs, emojis, music, games, characters and more through an experience called MyCircle.
The notion of managing kids’ screen time is evolving amid proposed changes by the American Academy of Pediatrics – which is looking at overturning its long-held edict that toddlers should avoid all screens before the age of two – citing shifts in the consumption habits of today’s kids. Currently, American eight-to-12 year-olds are clocking 4:36 hours of screen time every day, according to the most recent findings from Common Sense Media.