The story of how Antoine Boucher developed a device to protect children and teens from Internet threats is a familiar one to many parents.
Boucher, the Co-Founder and CEO of Kitchener-based BluePoint Technology, heard his young sons giggling under the dining table one day. Wondering what the big joke was, he investigated and found them watching something “really questionable” on a laptop.
He began to search for some device that would allow him to control and monitor what his kids were watching online. He found nothing that met his needs, so the former Vice-President of Advanced Accessories with Research in Motion decided to make one himself.
Today, BluePoint’s flagship product Kindera is on the market and helping families protect that their children from the filth that floods the Internet.
“It’s a gateway,” said Boucher, sitting in the office of Communitech’s Rev accelerator. “You connect it to your router and … you can set the rules on the traffic from your smartphone.”
Boucher and partner Mike Agar (another veteran of Research in Motion) started the company two years ago and decided the best way to control traffic on to all of a family’s devices was to do it from the family router. That meant all the devices in the household could be controlled.
Kindera uses a rating system that lets parents control who watches what. For example, they could let teenagers have a bit more leeway than younger siblings. Kindera instantly messages the parents if kids are viewing material outside the boundaries they’ve set.
Parents can use their desktop or mobile device to monitor all the family devices in real time and see what their kids are watching. They can set time limits on how much time each child spends online each day.
The duo also made sure that installation was simple to ensure families will be able to adapt the technology easily. Boucher said the Kindera hardware can be installed with only five steps.
The company is now manufacturing Kindera in China, and it has patent pending on the product.
BluePoint Technology was accepted into the Rev accelerator – which helps companies with traction to scale – in November and Boucher said sales have been growing since then. He said sales are most successful when people familiar with the product refer it to friends. BluePoint’s strategy to increase sales revolves around increasing awareness of the Kindera brand, and seeking partners that can help to increase distribution.
In the meantime, Boucher said he feels happy as a parent that his family is using the product.
“It gives me the tools to have an open discussion with my children,” said Boucher. “The Internet is so important that I want them to use it in the best way.”