Skyfire co-founder Nitin Bhandari is doing work on a new tactic to chopping our habit to social media and decreasing monitor time with a startup called ZenScreen.
The startup has lifted $seven-hundred,000 in funding from Opera (now Otello) and assorted angel traders. It released iOS and Android applications final thirty day period, as effectively as a Chrome browser extension.
Bhandari, who also served as senior vice president of buyer applications at Opera just after the acquisition of Skyfire, mentioned that through his get the job done on cell browsers and applications, he began to fear about irrespective of whether generating much more partaking — even addictive — applications was a worthwhile target: “The cognitive dissonance was genuinely having at me and my staff.”
Existing applications lock you out of your browser or smartphone for minimal periods of time — for case in point, I use Forest to minimize down on interruptions when I will need to target on writing. But Bhandari mentioned the “don’t even contact your phone” tactic is “just not practical” for numerous persons.
So ZenScreen incorporates a number of distinct characteristics that are made to make what Bhandari mentioned is “almost like a balanced digital diet program.” (In truth, ZenScreen developed an “AppKins Digital Health and fitness Pyramid” displaying which applications you can use as much as you want, and other individuals that really should be minimal.) Grownups can use it to manage their own app use, as effectively as that of their little ones.
For case in point, as a substitute of seeking to maintain you off your mobile phone for, say, an hour each individual early morning, ZenScreen offers one thing called Intelligent Mornings, where by you have ten minutes to entry social applications, followed by twenty minutes where by you can only open up get the job done applications and utilities. Similarly, you can established boundaries on how much time you expend on social/amusement applications through the working day and restrict social media again when it is close to bedtime.
To do this, Bhandari mentioned ZenScreen had to solve “a genuinely hard difficulty to determine out which app is getting applied and how extensive it is in the foreground.” The business takes advantage of VPN know-how to observe your app use, nevertheless Bhandari mentioned, “We have a quite special VPN where by all of the know-how operates ideal on your device and sensitive data under no circumstances comes to our servers.”
ZenScreen offers entry to individual app use analytics and its Tranquil Time attribute for totally free, then charges $4.99 for every thirty day period for every thing else.
“I in fact examine our pricing to a gym membership — that is type of what we’re undertaking for your brain,” Bahndari mentioned. “When you examine it to $80 a thirty day period, or $a hundred a thirty day period for the gym, $4.99 appears to be like this sort of a no brainer if this topic is important to you.”