Saent wants to make the Internet less distracting


The funny videos, memes and messages can wait. This anti-distraction button wants to boost your productivity.


Face it: as great as the Internet may be, it can be downright distracting as well. From browsing sites like BuzzFeed to responding to Facebook messages, it doesn’t take much to diminish your productivity levels at work. In fact, a recent survey has found that 73% of employees under the age of 35 admit to spending time inappropriately online. However, help may be on the way thanks to one Hong Kong-based startup, who has developed a smart solution that combines both hardware and software to combat these all too common occurrences.

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At its basic level, Saent acts much like any other distraction-reducing software. When triggered, the desktop app blocks sites and other programs that are deemed “unproductive” in order to encourage short term productivity. Yet, the startup has taken it one step further by adding a physical button, no larger than a coaster, as a tangible reminder for us to stay focused.

The device is capable of tracking the progress of your work throughout the day, as it gathers data related to your performance patterns and then generates reports based on your behaviors, like the time of day you are most and least productive. This is achieved when paired with its accompanying app over Bluetooth to either a mobile gadget or desktop.

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What’s more, a touch of the button will launch what the company calls a “focused work session.” Each period, which is either 30, 50 or 90 minutes long, will block all apps and websites that are designated as “unproductive.” An indicator light on the unit will then monitor your progress with the indicator filling up as you get closer to finishing. There’s a gamification element to Saent, too. Users can compete with colleagues at work or loved ones at home by accumulating points based on the time spent distraction-fee via the app’s dashboard.

In terms of hardware, Saent boasts a Bluetooth Low Energy SoC, an LED, a microUSB port, a touch sensor, a push button and a Li-ion battery, all housed inside an ABS shell. While the software can also function as a standalone app, ideally the physical device is suited for long-term success and a much better alternative than multitasking.

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“A lot of people think the solution is to multitask, but multitasking is actually a myth. Only 3% of people are actually capable of productive multitasking. The rest of us just do something called ‘task switching,’ which leads to mistakes and poor quality work. What we really need is a way to block out distractions and enable true focus,” its creators explain.

Looking ahead, the team hopes to enhance its software platform with various new features, including app recommendations, granular nofitication control, and one of our favorites, “what you missed” reports — something that will certainly help curb those with FOMO, or fear of missing out. So, are you prone to watching kitten videos on YouTube or posting memes during the day? Head over to Saent’s Indiegogo campaign, where the startup is currently seeking $100,000. Delivery is expected to begin in November 2015.

One thought on “Saent wants to make the Internet less distracting

  1. Pingback: Saent wants to make the Internet less distracting - Internet of Things | Wearables | Smart Home | M2M

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