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Exhale, Science

Forget pocket money, now you can reward your kids with internet time

When I was a kid in the 1980s I used to get $2 a week pocket money: just enough for two bags of Wizz Fizz and a Picnic bar from the corner shop. These days you’d be lucky to get half a packet of Smarties for that amount, which is why modern kids will just stare at you if their weekly handout is anything less than a tenner.

Clearly global inflation is leading us towards a future where pocket money is going to start resembling an actual pay cheque. We’ll probably have to set up bank transfers and everything.

So thank goodness for Kudoso, a new product that allows you to reward children with something other than fat stacks of cash – internet time.

A new take on parental internet blocking software, Kudoso allows parents to restrict their kids’ internet usage based on their completion of certain activities, such as chores or homework.

The software lets you set up tasks, each worth a certain number of points, which can then be ‘cashed in’ by your kids for blocks of time on websites you designate.

Kids can earn additional points by watching educational videos from Khan Academy, a non-profit online educational organisation with free tutorials on everything from maths and history to medicine, economics and computer science.

You can either install the software on your own router, or have it pre-installed on a router supplied by Kudoso. It can also be accessed remotely via smartphone or tablet.

As well as motivating kids to get their work done and teaching them the value of cooperation and earning rewards, Kudoso has the added benefit of allowing parents to restrict ‘unsafe’ sites they don’t want their children visiting (like music videos by Die Antwoord, according to the Kudoso promotional video – probably fair enough).

Kudoso can also generate usage reports so you can keep tabs on the sites your child is visiting, and adjust the number of points required to unlock them.

After an 18 month beta testing period, Kudoso is now trying to move into the next stage of development, which will involve FitBit integration for measuring activity-based tasks.

The company’s recent Kickstarter appeal fell short of its $50,000 goal, but company founder Robert Irizarry says he hopes to have the product on the market by the end of the year.

“While we were ultimately unsuccessful with the campaign, we were overwhelmed with interest from parents, the mainstream press… and investors,” he wrote in a statement on the Kudoso website .

“At this time we are… speaking with potential investors and building a plan to bring Kudoso to market in the next few months.”

About the author

A former web designer turned journalist, Petra has 10 years’ experience in digital media having worked as the online editor of South Australia’s Sunday Mail and as the national social media and technology reporter for News Corp Australia. As iPad editor for The Advertiser, she also oversaw the launch of the masthead’s first iPad app in 2010. Her work has been published in Elle Australia, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail, The Advertiser, Sunday Mail and The Vine.

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