What’s the problem with video games?
Playing video games and watching TV consumes a huge amount of children’s time – on average 30 hours per week. That’s 30 hours which could be spent with the family or reading or being creative or physical play!
Apart from the wasted opportunity to learn and grow in the ‘real world’, this amount of screen time has been shown to lead to long term mental issues such as lower self esteem, loss of confidence and depression.
There is absolutely no physical benefit to be gained from sitting in front of a TV in the same position for hours on end. In fact this can cause poor posture which leads to back issues later in life. It has also been linked to the rise in childhood obesity among children in the UK.
Video games and TV are not actually harmful in moderation. It’s the length of time a child sits in a stationary position, doing just one thing, which is damaging for your child’s mental and physical health.
What does the Off-IT SmartBox do?
The Off-IT SmartBox has been specifically designed to help you protect your children from the harmful effects of too much time watching TV and playing video games.
How are parents using it?
Kid’s with a Games Console. Spending too long on video games is not great for your child’s health. Setting a daily limit, either automatically or manually, ensures that they get a fair amount of time to play and you get less stressed about too much screen time.
Parents of young children are using it to allow their child to watch just one TV program while they are out of the room. If the TV show lasts 30 mins, you set Off-IT for 30 mins at the start of the program and keep the TV remote control in your pocket. The timer will run for 30 mins and you are notified 30 seconds before the TV turns off. This means that the child can watch their favourite program without you worrying that they will switch to another channel or continue watching something less appropriate after their program has finished.
Children with TV’s in their room can be set a fixed amount of time to watch a DVD or broadcast TV channel. This means that you can allow them enough time to watch just one program in the knowledge that the TV will switch off at the end of that time – great if you are distracted downstairs or on the phone.
Kids ‘Binge-Watching’ TV shows. Smart TV’s connected to Netflix, Prime and Now TV allow kids to watch an entire series of shows one after the other. We’ve had this problem with our daughter and it wasn’t easy to stop, mostly because she was always into the next show before we’d noticed the last one had finished. Setting a fair limit has really helped.
Review screen time usage. The app will record the time your child has spent watching TV or playing video games since the SmartBox was first set up. This lets you keep an eye on their screen time as the weeks progress.
Parents are taking back control from the game companies. Too many parents feel like the Video Games Manufacturers have taken control of their children’s free time. Off-IT puts you in the driving seat with complete control over the amount of time your children can play.
How does it work?
The Off-IT SmartBox plugs into your TV’s mains socket and allows you to turn the TV off and on from an app on your iphone.
- You can set individual daily time limits for each child which automatically reset each day
- Receive a notification on your phone when the TV is switched on, then start your child’s timer
- When the TV is switched off, any connected child’s timers are automatically paused
- When your child’s timer runs out you receive a 30 second warning on your phone before the TV switches off. this gives you the time to ask them to save their game and quit or extend their time if you wish
- You can manually reset the timers at any time and there is a button to turn off the TV before the timer runs out (with a 30 sec warning). Useful if they need to break at meal time
- You can assign a different child to each SmartBox or several children to one SmartBox and the timers are easily adjusted manually if you need to set a fixed time (the length of a film for example)
How does it benefit you?
Your child can’t exceed the safe limit that you have set for them each day. This removes the worry that they will spend hours of their free time glued to the TV. So they can spend their time more creatively on healthier activities.
Setting fixed boundaries for screen time will mean less chance of conflicts over the time they have spent in front of the TV each day.
For many busy parents, the Off-IT SmartBox is useful tool which reliably ensures that their kids get healthy levels of screen time when they are distracted elsewhere in the home.
How does it benefit your kids?
Kids are often very aware of fairness and will object if they feel they have had less time than promised. With Off-IT their time is accurately and reliable measured.
Your children can choose whether to watch some TV and then play a game or just use their time for a film. Knowing how much time they have and planning how to spend it teaches them the basics of time management and the value of free time.
Limiting the time they spend on TV and video games will leave free time for reading, playing, creating and socialising with family or friends.
How do I order?
The Off-IT SmartBox is currently available to order in the UK from Amazon and Amazon Prime here:
Please be aware that we have limited stock with Amazon and may run out. If you find none are available please email us to be placed on a preferential list when the new stock arrives.
Is this device safe for use in my home?
Yes. The Off-IT SmartBox is a UK designed smart plug which is fully CE certified and passed to British Standard BS5733. It is certified to be safely used at loads up to 3000 watts, which is more than 100 times the load of the average TV. There are currently more than 50,000 in use in the UK with a 100% safety record.
Will this work on iOS 10?
Yes. It is fully up to date with the latest Apple operating system
Is there a version for Android phones?
Not yet but we’re working on it. Please email us if you’d like to be notified when we launch the app: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a guarantee?
The Off-IT SmartBox is guaranteed for 1 year from date of purchase
Is the app free to download?
Yes. And future updates will always be free
Is my data safe?
All your login and usage data is held on your Amazon Secure Server Account and is only accessible by you. We have pre-paid for this server for 10 years at no extra charge to you.
Will this work on my wifi network?
We guarantee that our SmartBox will work on any regular UK router (WPA/WPA2/WPA-PSK). If you have an advanced dual band router, then you will need to connect to the 2.4 ghz signal as we can’t guarantee stability on 5 ghz. We can’t support WEP encrypted routers. Full instructions and video guidance are available on our support page.
Is there any IT support?
Yes, we have a full time email support team available to help with any setup issues
Research Results and Press Releases:
Amount of time on TV: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tv-habits.html
Effects of video gaming on children’s mental health: *Ref: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2014/07/29/peds.2013-4021.full.pdf
Effects of video gaming on children’s physical health: http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/cf/slideshows/8-ways-video-games-are-bad-for-your-health
Time playing video games: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/video-gaming.html
Psychological manipulation in game design: http://www.doriadar.com/7-psychological-tactics-used-in-games-to-hook-users/
Binge-watching TV – setting a fair balance: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/technology-addiction/is-binge-watching-tv-bad-for-kids#