Managing screen time is no joke, but this smart home device makes it easy—and you can get it at a major discount for a limited time.

By Lauren Phillips
August 14, 2018
Courtesy of TechDen

If fighting over screen time with your children is wearing you down, you’re not alone—but you are fighting an important battle, especially since we’ve all heard the negative consequences of too much screen time during childhood.

Those behind the new TechDen, however, aim to help us cut back on our screens.

TechDen is an unobtrusive, in-home device that serves both as a physical home and a monitoring system for phones and tablets. The Den holds two devices, with built-in chargers for keeping them powered up (no more surprise dead batteries just as you’re running out the door) and a locking mechanism that keeps devices securely out of reach.

The physical tool is accompanied by an app designed to help reduce and track screen time by setting realistic sessions in which kids can use their devices, plus time limits within those sessions. Once a session or a time limit is up, the app (after giving timely warnings) reminds kids to return their devices to the Den. Returning a device on time can earn kids rewards that they customize, like one-on-one parent time or a trip to the ice cream store.

Parents can monitor when devices are used from their own app and set “bed times” for devices, perfect for older kids who can’t seem to turn their phones off at night. All together, the system allows parents and kids to work together to establish positive, healthy routines that can eventually help everyone form good digital habits.

The TechDen has features intended to limit screen time for children, but it’s completely functional for adults, too. If you struggle to put your phone down at night or can never seem to find your tablet when you need it, simply having a place to store your devices may help you slowly reduce the amount of time you spend on them and the stress they cause. The Den operates on an out of sight, out of mind philosophy that believes screen time–addicts of all ages are less inclined to mindlessly use their devices if they’re not immediately available.

Once routines are established and kids grow used to the system, TechDen is the so-called bad guy reminding everyone to put their screens away, reducing the day-to-day parent-child conflict over screen time. The app allows kids to have some agency over when they use their screens, too, so they can take on some personal responsibility. Of course, if and when the system fails, parents will have to step in to enforce the rules.

TechDen is currently on Kickstarter, with an all-or-nothing funding campaign to help launch the project. The campaign to raise $50,000 is already half-funded, and it is live until September 21. By supporting the campaign with monetary contributions, backers can help make TechDen a reality—and get the device at a discount.

The retail price of TechDen is currently set at $200 (and it’s expected to be available from retailers late this year), but early backers who pledge at least $120 can get one for their home, to be delivered this December. (That’s 40 percent off the retail price.) There are opportunities to get two Dens, as well, with larger contributions.

Learn more about TechDen and its myriad features on the Kickstarter page, and act fast to get your own before the year is out—the project is offering a limited number of discounted Dens to backers.