The internet….an amazing invention that is still constantly evolving and never ceases to amaze us.

As we sit on the brink of “The Internet of Things” taking over our lives and modern warfare not just being fought on the ground or air but in the form of hacking over the web, one thing never changes….our kids will still need protecting.

Since its inception, the internet has posed a threat to the innocence of children. From the adult nature of some websites to the total connection to the world that sometimes children just shouldn’t see at certain ages. The thought as a parent of having to police access to the internet seems daunting and almost impossible to some, but a group of individuals think they have found the answer.

The guys over at Elameno Inc have created the Circle, a clever little device which can be used as a smart filter to the outside world. It’s a neat little box which just needs power and connects to your router wirelessly. Circle acts as a WiFi client for all devices on the managed network, sending out network packets to each connected device, informing them to send all packets back to Circle.circle1

Here’s what Circle does;

SMART FILTER: Ensure only age/user-appropriate content reaches your kids by setting individual filtering levels by category for each device on your network.

TIME MANAGEMENT: Circle can manage online usage by allowing timed access based on by category (i.e., social media sites, gaming, videos…etc) or by specific site.
INFORM & NOTIFY: See at a glance the amount of time your kids spend on certain sites or categories of sites.  Set customizable notification schedules for both positive and negative Internet activity on the devices in your home from your app.
PAUSE MODE:  Temporarily restrict Internet access to every device on your network. Pause Mode can be set manually at any time (i.e., dinner at 5pm).
BEDTIME MODE: Set downtime for individual devices on your network (i.e., son’s iPad downtime from 10pm to 7am) where Internet access is disabled.
SAFE MODE: Safe mode automatically recognizes, and adjusts filtering settings, to Internet activity of children under 5 years old, who often use an adult’s device for games and other activities online. Adults can easily unlock Safe Mode when they resume using the device.
AD BLOCKING: Toggle off web advertisements so they don’t show on any of your devices or just those your kids use.
MANAGE: Manage Circle using a brilliantly simple, user-friendly app for iOS.
SIMPLIFY: Simple setup in your home with one login. Circle remains active even when unplugged.

With an amazing array of tools for any parent bringing up their child in the digital age, Circle really does provide control and protection from the Internet. These guys have even thought about your cunning children unplugging the device to disable the filter, basically just installing an internal battery to carry on supplying power to the unit which is charged while on the mains. It can’t be turned off, disconnected from the router or manipulated without the main iOS app.

Circle couldn’t be easier to set up with a pairing button to connect it to the network and allow the app to control the box which then allows you to begin setting up your household’s security.

This same app provides all the data to the parent supplying information like what sites your users are on real-time and how long they have been using the internet and individual websites. The app allows management of each user separately allowing different settings for each and even setting safe modes on parents devices which some kids may pick up.

More features of the app;

  • User Profiles (includes user activity, devices & individual reports)
  • Device Profiles (includes profile & user information)
  • Time Management (per device & user profile)
  • Device Modes (Bedtime & Safe)
  • Network Pause Mode – when you just want to turn the internet off
  • Guest Devices

circle2

We at TheTechSpy believe in giving the children of today all the access they need to flourish, but it does need to be policed and this device over at Kickstarter does just that. These devices are not available for shipping until August 2014 and are starting at a princely $175 on an early bird pledge, but we think they are worth the wait and most parents should invest in one.

As much as we trust our children, most will attempt to break the rules and pull the wool over their parents eyes….it’s what they are good at…. we have all done it, it’s just the CIRCLE of life.

 

 

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