At a basic level, Saent acts much like other distraction-reducing software. When enabled, the desktop app blocks sites and apps that are identified as “unproductive” in order to encourage short term productivity. But Saent takes this concept a step further with the addition of a physical device.
Slightly smaller than a coaster, the hardware component of Saent is a small bluetooth-enabled plastic button. When paired with your desktop — the company is planning a Windows and Mac app — a touch of the button will launch what the company calls a “focused work session.” Each session, which is either 30, 50 or 90 minutes long, will block apps and websites that are designated as “unproductive.” An indicator light on the deice will track your progress during yours focused work session with the indicator filling up as you get closer to finishing.
As you complete more focused work sessions, you accumulate points, which are tracked in the app’s dashboard. Coworkers and friends are able to follow one another and compete for points within the app. The accompanying software also generates reports based on your behavior, such as the times of the day when you are most and least productive. Future versions of the software will be able to make personalized recommendations based on your previous habits, the company says.
Though the software also works as a standalone app, Saent cofounder Tim Metz, a self-described productivity expert, says the physical device is key for long-term success. “If it’s just virtual you’re probably going to forget about it,” Metz said, noting that productivity apps are easily ignored if they only live on your phone or computer. “If you have a physical or visual cue, that makes any behavior change much stronger if there’s something in the environment to actually remind you.”
The company is currently crowd-funding Saent’s launch through Indiegogo. Metz said he expects the device and desktop apps will be available to backers beginning in November and mobile apps will be available later on. The device costs $39 during the Indiegogo campaign and will cost between $49 and $69 after the crowd-funding period. The desktop apps will follow a freemium model with subscriptions ranging from $5 to $10 a month.