With a constant stream of emails, text messages, notifications and social media messages, it can be tricky to stay focused on work. Saent (pronounced "saint") aims to provide a solution.
A round button, you simply place it on your desk. Press it, and it locks you into apps and websites that are productive for work – you choose which beforehand. All social media messages, app notifications and other distractions are shut out, so you can get on with the task at hand.
It will help you to work smarter, too. By analysing your work rhythms, it'll tell you when to take a break to clear your head and help you come back to your desk refreshed. In the future, it will even determine how long that break should be, and the optimal time for you to begin working again.
It also incorporates a rewards system: you receive points for every ten-minute block of focused work you complete. Compare these with colleagues and friends to see who's really taking care of business.
The fact that the Saent is a physical device – as opposed to just another app that will get lost in the usual desktop clutter – might also prove useful as a reminder to stay focused.
It's a good idea – but we can see some potential problems. If you need to access the internet for work, for example, there's nothing to stop you from browsing elsewhere once you're online. Sure, you can block apps and websites, but what's to stop you finding others?
We also wish it had some functionality to stop annoying colleagues from interrupting your flow. But you can't have everything, I suppose.
If it passes its funding goal, it will ship in November. Expect a spike in productivity around then.