Introducing Screen Coin
When faced with kids with a little too much time on their hands and the ever-present distraction of the TV, Hollywood wizard and consummate maker Andy Wilkoff decided to do something about it. He invented Screen Coin, a token-based view-time system. It's simple enough, you agree with your kids on the unit of time the coins represent, sign a contract, then the children can move the colorful and friendly coins from one side of a tray to the other, "spending" their time. Once the coins are gone, it's time for other activities. No more squabbling over screen time, no more being the bad guy for turning it off. It gave the kids ownership of their time, empowering them to make choices and budget accordingly, and of course, got them to do other activities away from the screen.
Andy turned to rapid prototyping and manufacture on demand for this task. He set about designing in Fusion 360, and after about four iterations of coins and ten bases, he had something he was happy with. All of the coins and bases are printed on a Prusa i3 Mk3 3D printer in Matterhackers ABS filament. According to Andy "we chose the 3D printing initially mainly because of cost and rapid prototyping. 3D printing with the Mk3 gives an excellent quality without the high price of starting with injection molding." Then it was time to put it to the test and try it out with their kids. It worked.
"You still have to be a parent. It's not a Magic Bullet, but it helps the kids visualize how much time they have and helps them decide if they want to use coins now or later." Michele's background as a licensed clinical therapist means there's genuine child psychology at work here. And the beauty of it is once the contract is in place, the burden of "taking away the screen" is moved away from the parents. The system worked so well that Andy his wife realized they were on to something, and that other parents could benefit from this simple system. They set about starting a company, Screen Coin LLC, and started making plans to bring the system (and future ideas in the works) to market. Andy designed package prototypes on a Silhouette Cameo 2 while Michele worked on the contract, marketing and website. After many months of hard work they're ready to launch.
It's a simple idea, implemented by parents that care. With a little design ingenuity and a lot of hard work Screen Coin officially launches today! Head on over to www.getscreencoin.com for more information and to order.