Wiltshire-based QTIME has launched a new device that sets time limits for kids using games consoles. The Wi-Fi enabled device can be controlled anywhere by parents through a companion mobile app allowing them to turn the games console’s screen on and off as required and limit daily gaming time.

The father and son team head up the startup based on a farm in rural Wiltshire. CEO Keith Potter said, “Ironically the idea was conceived a few years ago after my son’s obsession with a PC game caused endless family battles and affected his GCSE results.” A recent study by Cambridge University found that an extra two hours of screen time results in dropping a grade in four exam subjects.

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Using a mobile device, parents can set sensible daily time limits, remotely turn off the console as necessary and hand out extra time as a reward. Co-founder James Potter said “We ran a successful trial with local parents who told us that they previously tried to limit their kids gaming time, but it was stressful and hard to enforce” adding that “once QTIME had been installed, the kids accepted the new boundaries and the parents didn’t want to return the trial units back.”

The duo found that existing tools for parents including controlling the internet hub or using the console’s own limited parental controls were difficult to enable, hard to set up and generally ineffective.

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