SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Getting your children’s attention when they’re sucked into a video or computer game is no easy task, but a Bay Area based company has a high-tech way for parents to call a time out.
When this reporter’s kids play video games with the neighbors, they become zombies – like their brains escaped to another universe. Bringing them back to earth is a real chore.
“You want to be the cool dad. And you want to go in and say, ’10 minutes, dinner time in 10 minutes,” said parent Gary Dunn. “You don’t want to be the dad who’s yelling and screaming … and you come back in five and they’re still on.”
Now, a new device could put that zombie resistance on hold. The primary purpose for the home wireless system by San Francisco based-Eero is to boost the WiFi signal inside your house in hard-to-reach places. But it also serves an alternate purpose with a smart phone app that includes a feature called Family Profiles.
“What Family Profiles allows you to do is set groups of devices for each of the kids in your home and set limits,” said Eero CEO Nick Weaver.
Limits such as allowing you to temporarily pause their video game to get their attention.
“You can pause any device in your home,” said Weaver. “Anything that’s connects to the internet.”
Just push the pause button. No more yelling. Sometimes the pause takes longer than a minute to achieve because the game has loaded so many graphics. But eventually, a message comes on the screen saying the game has taken a time out – specifically, it cannot establish a connection to the server.
Initial reactions from this reporter’s children and their friends show the pause function has the desired effect.
“I don’t really like it,” said Michael Dunn. “Because now we can’t play and say, ‘just a minute’ and really take an hour.”
“It’s good for parents, but not good for kids,” said Antonio Vazquez.
Reporter: “Wait, you don’t want your parents to be in control of your life?”
“Well, they can be in control of my life,” said Antonio’s younger brother Jackson Vazquez.”Just not my games.”
Like any electronic device, the Eero only works if your kid is not smarter than you. “I could just play a game that doesn’t require WiFi!” correctly noted resident wisenheimer Antonio Vazquez.