Technology

Kudoso router only allows internet access after chores

Kudoso router Image copyright kudoso
Image caption Kudoso only allows internet access when the chores are done

A router that only allows internet access after household chores have been completed is being developed in the US.

Kudoso allows parents to set a list of tasks that unlock minutes to be used online.

The device's makers hope to eventually incorporate fitness apps into the system to reward children who regularly exercise.

One parenting expert told the BBC she thought the technology "seems a bit over the top".

Parenting author Judy Reith, who runs parentingpeople.co.uk, said concern was growing about internet use.

"I've interviewed a lot of parents," she said.

"The number one worry is technology, and that's not going to go away any time soon."

But she added: "The business of this special router doing that for you seems a bit over the top for me.

"A parent's voice does carry a lot of power even if the parents don't feel it does. They should set up firm but fair rules about all kind of things, including internet usage."

Mrs Reith said as well as monitoring children's internet use, it was important parents considered their own as well.

'Dilemma'

Developer Rob Irizarry is trying to raise money on crowdfunding site Kickstarter to support the project, which has been in development for 18 months.

"Parents today are faced with a dilemma about how to manage the amount of time their kids spend on the internet and the content they are exposed to," the Kickstarter appeal page says.

Image copyright Kudoso
Image caption Chores earn "currency" that can be spent to get internet time

"Kudoso lets your children earn points - by doing chores, studying or even exercising - that allow them to access the internet sites you approve for blocks of time that you define."

By carrying out the chores, children will earn currency that can be "spent" accessing websites.

Parents can set which websites are more "expensive". For example, the same amount of currency could allow for 30 minutes on an educational site, but only 10 minutes on an entertainment page.

Mr Irizarry said his technology was more effective than current projects on the market due to the fact it blocked internet access into the home completely, rather than just using software that must be installed on each device - and could be circumvented by particularly enterprising children.

As well as being sold as a pre-installed router, Kudoso will also be available as software to be installed on a range of routers from other manufacturers.

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC

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