Developed by South Australian enterprise 3 Chiefs, the ourValues app has been downloaded more than a thousand times since its soft launch in June.
Currently sitting at number eight on Google Play’s parenting app list, the ourValues Smarter Screen Time & Parental Control helps families address technology addiction by setting up weekly responsibilities, activities and behaviours that a child must achieve to keep their allotted screen time.
The app’s co-founder Johnny Tam said technology addiction is endemic so managing technology must be done wisely.
“We thought ‘how could we do this in a way that is not just about managing screen time, but also about teaching our kids that if they’re spending too much time on this, they’re going to miss out on all the other things important to them as they’re growing up and learning to socialise?’
“Technology is here to stay. We cannot take away devices from kids, because it’s how they socialise, its how they learn, but we need to manage it smartly.”
The company charges a monthly subscription of AUD$5 per month for a family account that offers easy control from the parent’s devices and specific child profiles across multiple platforms.
Co-founder Gabby Piantedosi said the uniqueness of making children accountable for when and how they spend time on their devices, coupled with the threat of losing screen time if weekly activities are not completed, fills a gap in the market.
“A lot of the apps are really just looking at the screen time side of things, whereas we’re not just pushing that,” said Piantedosi.
“We’re helping children by instilling responsibilities. We’re happy for the child to have some screen time, it’s up to the child to decide how they use that allowance.
“Then as part of this process, they start to think about how they can be more responsible as to how they use that throughout the course of the day.”
Tam said they named the app ourValues because they want it to be the go-to app for parents who are interested in taking the effort to spend time with their kids and work out what’s important to them from a family point of view.
“We have looked for unique differentiators that we hope will spearhead this across different markets and different countries. No apps that we know of have the ability to customize to this level of use.”
Tam said the app has drawn international attention since its soft launch, with interest in from Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.