The internet is an incredible place for kids to learn and connect, but without guidance it can be fraught with danger. A parent only needs to look at the ‘Up Next’ feed in YouTube to know that it’s not advisable for young kids to roam free online. Torch is a wifi router for families that helps parents guide kids online.
Kids are on screens all the time these days – at school, at home, walking down the street looking for a rare Pokemon. Torch router ($331) gives parents control over the unwieldy power of the internet, helping them manage kids’ screen time and keeping kids safe from inappropriate content.
Torch has a pause button for the internet that’s profile specific. This means parents can still use the internet while kids take a break. Torch also reports your child’s browsing history, so if you find they’re visiting a site you don’t like, you can have a conversation, and block the site through the router.
The average eight-year-old spends up to eight hours a day with different online mediums. Older kids spend up to 11 or more hours. Where they find the time, we have no idea. Torch tracks how much time kids spend on their devices, and lets parents set up timers to reduce internet usage.
There’s also a content categorisation feature that lets you block sites that you don’t want to be part of kids’ online journey. That way your seven-year-old won’t stumble onto pornography while trying to get her homework done.
Torch was successfully funded on Kickstarter at the end of 2015 and is now available for pre-order online. Shipping to Australia is $20, and orders are expected to start shipping in September 2016.