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Electronic Box Gives Kids A TV Allowance

Boot Camp feature for Monday, January 15, 2001

Giving your kids a TV allowance. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. Amidst the Panasonics, Sonys and Microsofts at the Consumer Electronics Show this month... was a guy with a gadget. Randall Levenson invented a little electronic box that lets parents set limits on TV watching and video game playing...

"Well you can see it kind of looks like a desktop calculator in size and shape and in the bottom of it is a locking compartment into which you plug the power cord of the television. You close the door on the cord, lock it and keep the key, therefore it captures the power cord of the television and that's why kids can't cheat. Having done that, you plug the TV Allowance into the wall, the display lights up, it prompts you to give yourself a four digit parental master code and then asks you to give each child a separate four digit PIN number and a separate four digit weekly allowance."

Parents can block children from being able to have the TV on during certain hours... .or even on school days if they choose. Levenson invented the device to control the habits of his own kids...

"They were driving my wife and myself crazy watching televisioin."

And so he went to the local electronics store and started tinkering. Levenson sells the TV Allowance from his Web site for 99 dollars and his hoping to attract investors to mass produce the boxes at a lower price..

"We have engineered a unit that can retail for about 39.95. And we're looking for an investor to support and market that price point TV Allowance."

You can find more information at TVAllowance.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio..