Digital Detox Inc. creates apps, programs and systems geared towards both businesses and individuals with a focus on adjusting technology usage habits, some of them humorous and others more serious-minded. For example, their Coinlocker system temporarily blocks your access to your social media accounts and their Middleman system is a collection of filters which do things such as hiding likes, retweets and comments or specific keywords.


However, their most successful product is Jailer, a remote self-monitoring system which combines automation with human-driven alert messages. The name "Jailer," perhaps a nod to Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, does not to refer to actual incarceration -- there is no actual jail involved -- but exclusively to the notion of monitoring, with the desired (and self-imposed) effect of discouraging negative behavior (and encouraging positive behavior).

According to the website, usage cases suggested include: "When you hate (whatever it is) and just can't bring yourself to start it" (and succumb to playing video games, for example) or "when your deadline is looming and you haven't finished yet," or "when you think you'll get to it eventually but keep putting it off."

The system, which costs 1,500 JPY a month for university students and 7,500 JPY a month for the standard version, monitors you through your desktop or smartphone and requires you to submit requests when you start, whenever you leave your chair (go out of viewing range) and whenever you stop, and will send you a warning when you don't do so. The warnings are carried out by humans but their voices are altered by voice-changing technology.

Heroes in Jail

Now, for junior high and high school students, Jailer is available completely free of charge, under the name "Heroes in Jail."

The system is designed to be of use for students who need to prepare for university entrance exams or do other serious studying and cannot afford to be distracted by video games, social media or all the other things that modern society has created to easily distract them.

The page for the Heroes in Jail service gives a thorough explanation of the need for the service and how it works, and includes a pep talk for the potential users which concludes thusly:

"There are exceptional individuals hiding in the world of academia. Smart people walk around town with their dicks out. If you think you aren't fortunate to have people around you who you can turn to, then studying may in fact be a doorway to finding true friendship."

The underlined phrase links to the Wikipedia entry for Genevan philosopher, writer and composer Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was known to have been an exhibitionist in his early life.

Perhaps the idea is that students will read this, be amused and get motivated to become "heroes" who can study and get ahead in life. Parents, on the other hand, may have a few questions...

By - grape Japan editorial staff.

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