We give it 4 stars!!!

BOB Screen Time Controller- by Hopscotch Technology
by: Sonny Davé

Television or computer use is an important part of our lives, but it should not be the only part. Efficient management of time is perhaps the largest human folly. Teaching children how to use their time wisely can be the most difficult. According to studies done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, young people spend an average of 3 hours a day watching television, 49 minutes a day playing video games and more than one hour using the computer. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children’s screen time should be limited to one to two hours a day. This is easier said than done.

CEO of Hopscotch Technology, Brian Baker, said there had to be a better way. In 2005, Brian came up with an idea that would help parents face this challenge. He came up with “BOB” the screen time controller. Let BOB be the bad guy in screen time negotiations. BOB has a very simple 3 minute set-up. Plug the TV or monitor into BOB (lock in the cord) and plug BOB into the wall. Parents set the time limits. It can manage time for up to 6 users. TV or monitor shuts off when time is up. “Time Blocks” prevent usage for specific times of the day (like after school). The company claims that BOB is safe for all electronics, including TVs (Plasma/DLP/LCD), video game systems, and computers.

Does BOB Work?

BOB is an easy to use, small device that can sit next to a TV, video-game system or computer. The power cord from one of these devices plugs into the back of BOB and is locked in place. Then, BOB plugs into an electrical outlet. It features a big, easy to use, illuminated keypad. Set up process takes about two-three minutes.

We decided on an acceptable amount of viewing time for 6 users per day and week. We also blocked specific time periods. Each user had a four-digit PIN that they entered before they can turn on the attached device. BOB monitors the amount of time a child spends using that media device. A master pin allowed us to turn on the connected device at any time. When a child's/user’s preset viewing time expires, BOB shuts off the attached TV, video-game system or computer and didn’t allow it to be turned on by that user for the remainder of the day or week. We found BOB to work with most TVs (ranging from 27” Sony to 46” Samsung LCD), gaming stations, and computer monitors. We prefer it to be hooked up to a monitor instead of the CPU. It is tamper proof and Hopscotch offers a 1-year warranty.

BOB can be found at J&R Electronics, and for a suggested retail price of $99.99. It can currently be found at for $75.63.



* Our Rating:

4 **** – Great item – Buy it NOW!

3 *** – Wait until it comes on sale at a Big Retail Store.

2 ** – Wait until it comes on clearance.

1 * – Wait until it comes to the Dollar Store.

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