menu

App Locks Phone From Work Contacts Until Playtime Is Over

technology

UNICEF's PlayTimer app uses facial recognition to lock smartphones, securing uninterrupted quality time.

Tiffany Nesbit
  • 22 may 2014

As much as smartphones have improved our lives, they’ve also made it quite difficult to feel fully present in the world around us. Beeps, alerts, notifications, ringing, and vibrations all let us know that there are other items vying for attention and demanding an immediate response, without regard for whatever activity is currently at hand. Sometimes this is okay, but when it comes to things like setting aside time to play with your kids, it’s important that we don’t have interruptions.

Recognizing this, UNICEF has just created an iPhone app designed to help busy parents work-proof their phones. With PlayTimer, your child control when you can use your phone.

PlayTimer is available for free in the iTunes store. Once downloaded, a parent can set the number of minutes they want for playtime, then start the timer by taking a picture of their ‘playbuddy,’ or child. This will lock your phone using the same settings already saved in your lock settings. Though the phone actually will still receive phone calls and messages while the timer is set, if the phone is touched before the predetermined time an alarm will sound. To turn the alarm off, you must take a picture of your playbuddy to verify that you are still with them. To unlock the phone after the allocated playtime, parents must take another picture of their child; face detection will determine if it is the same person and if so will unlock the phone.

Valerie Binner, Executive Vice President of HR at Dometic Group, feels the app is a necessary one, saying:

How our mobile phones are both an important device that contributes to flexible working but also can easily take over our lives and impact negatively on our children is a very relevant and important topic. Highlighting companies responsibilities on this matter is on the spot.

playtimer-screen-shot.jpg

Prior to creating the app, UNICEF conducted a study in Sweden with parents of children aged 0-12. The study found that more than half of the participants receive work emails and phone calls outside of business hours. In addition, almost half of the participants said having smartphones take away from the time they spent playing with their children. UNICEF Sweden developed the PlayTimer app to remind companies that they have a responsibility for children’s rights to play time with their parents. In 2012 UNICEF created ‘The Children’s Rights and Business Principles,’ a set of guidelines for employers on the range of actions they can take in the workplace and the community to respect and support children’s rights, so their parents work does not affect them in a negative way. In creating the app, UNICEF hopes employers will encourage parents to use the app. PlayTimer is available in Swedish, English, Spanish, and French.

For a better understanding of why this app is necessary, check out the video below.

PlayTimer on iTunes // UNICEF // PlayTimer

Trending

Bicycle Hotel In Norway Makes Commuting A Breeze

Design & Architecture
Technology Yesterday

Umbrella Tells You Whether It's Needed Before You Go Out

Opus One was designed by former Samsung engineers and offers a weather forecast via the flashing LED on top

Sustainability Yesterday

Biocomposite Skateboard Provides An Eco-Friendly Ride

The Uitto is an eco-friendly skate deck crafted from Norwegian wood fibers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Work Yesterday

Hyatt Honors Travelers With A 3D-Printed Statue Contest

The hospitality wanted to celebrate the people who go everywhere for work and make sure their tasks were not forgotten

Syndicated Yesterday

High-Tech Replica Brings Prehistoric Art Within Reach

A £48m recreation of the Lascaux Caves in France will let visitors experience the unique place for the first time in decades

Related Expert

Ara Katz

fashion ecommerce

Entertainment Yesterday

Tripod Lets You Make Snapchat Videos Hands-Free

The Camkix kit lets you record wirelessly from any angle

IoT Yesterday

GE Develops An Alexa-Enabled Table Lamp

The first in a line of interconnected home products will integrate Amazon's voice-activated system for smarter home living

Advertising Yesterday

Spotify Mines User Data To Create A Global Ad Campaign

The series of billboards relays the feelings that people express through listening to music

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 6, 2016

Creative Director: Navigating The New World Of Founder-Brands

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Sullivan, explains how visionaries like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg approach their branding and why it’s important to apply brand thinking to founders’ products

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Food Yesterday

What Material Research In Beirut Bodes For Our Waste Crisis

Might building furniture and lights out of rose petals and coffee grounds point to more sustainable modes of living, as seen in Beirut Design Week?

Social Media Yesterday

This Collar Wants To Be The Bridge Between Human-Dog Communication

Inupathy claims to be world's first dog emotion visualizer

Retail Yesterday

Commerce Expert: Why Brick-And-Mortar Shopping Can’t Be Replaced

Erin Armendinger, SVP of bio, explains the physical need of customers to experience certain products before buying

Fashion Yesterday

Basquiat-Inspired Fashion Line Supports Emerging Talent

The late artist's estate has collaborated with New York label alice+olivia on a new range of designs

Retail Yesterday

Why Personalization Is The Key To Customer Satisfaction

Andrew Blackmon of The Black Tux shares how the company is using machine-learning models to streamline the fitting process

PSFK EVENT

FUTURE OF RETAIL 2017:
Conference Built Around Report Launch
BUY TICKETS

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Fidgeting Tools Designed To Help Creative Minds Focus

The DIDGETS Collection helps those who have anxiety or are restlessly moving to focus while they are working

Children Yesterday

Helpful Robot Teaches People Of All Ages How To Code

The Root has coding expertise designed to benefit a wide range of people

Home Yesterday

Sharing Service Connects Directors With Film Locations

Finding affordable places to film can be difficult, so GETset was designed to help creators easily find good locations

No search results found.