CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Shelley Prevost loves technology, and she's using it to make a better, safer online playground for children. Her Kickstarter campaign (http://kck.st/1W2Y3m2), which launches October 20, will raise funds to manufacture Torch, a smart Wi-Fi router designed to help parents set time and content parameters on their kids' digital lives. Torch's goal on Kickstarter is $150,000, and the company will deliver the first batch of routers in early 2016.
"The Internet is a place for kids to explore, grow, and learn, but it's not always a good use of time, and there are some things your child may not be ready for yet," says Torch CEO and co-founder Prevost, a psychologist, businesswoman and mother of three. "We allow parents to weed out what's harmful so their kids have room to be curious—and parents can worry less and encourage their children's interests and enthusiasm more."
Torch was created because Prevost needed help curbing her crafty 10-year-old son's Minecraft obsession. Torch (http://mytorch.com/) is a plug-and-play device that comes with a built-in pause button for the Internet and a reporting suite so parents can understand their children's browsing habits. In addition, it can be customized to curtail and monitor Internet activities of children in the home. Parents can program it to make the Internet an age-appropriate playground and set a bedtime for online activities. They can even turn the devices off when the dinner bell rings. Torch tools also generate reports that break time spent online into categories such as social media, education and gaming.
The product will retail for $200, but early-bird backers on Kickstarter can secure one for as little as $99. Torch is built by user-experience experts focused on ease of use and great customer support, and they have plans to build an active social platform so parents can engage with other parents, sharing best settings and the latest kid-friendly technology.
Another incentive for backing the Torch Kickstarter is a T-shirt ($25 donation) and for $1,500 take home a Torch router, plus we'll put your child in our How-to video tutorials.
Most parental control tools come in the form of apps or software on each device, but Torch is unique because it adjusts Internet usage at the front door—the Wi-Fi router—making it harder for ever-so-smart kids to get around parental controls. Torch is compatible with most home gizmos and gadgets such as iPad, Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, Sonos, and Nest, and runs the latest ultra-highspeed technology (Gigabit LAN speed + 802.11 ac MIMO for wireless).
A playful digital campaign (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkFSkJY23WE) for Torch juxtaposes risqué double-entendre expressions (blue balls, happy endings, pearl necklaces) with innocent child-friendly images on a computer screen. "Kids are innocent. It's adults who aren't," we're reminded. "And nowhere is that more obvious than online." Each ad ends with "Torch. The right click." The campaign was created by Chattanooga ad agency Fancy Rhino (www.fancyrhino.com).
The company's co-founders—Prevost, Jack Studer, and Wayne Fullam—launched Torch after founding and working at Chattanooga venture capital firm Lamp Post Group, which led the startup's seed-funding round.