Industry veterans seek to structure children's screen time with Ava

The new take on parental controls ditches restrictions and blocklists to take a more positive spin

Industry veterans seek to structure children's screen time with Ava

Minnesota-based social enterprise has launched a beta for children’s screen-time manager Ava.

It uses incentive-based game design to guide kids towards what it considers “quality educational content”.

The company is looking to help control what kids access on their phones in a way that isn’t punitive or restrictive.

“Managing not only their time on the screen, but also the quality of the content is more critical than ever. We built this solution to help ensure parents can do so effortlessly,” said founder and CEO William Heathershaw.

“The quality of screen time content correlates with important cognitive developmental, as well as mental health, physical health and overall happiness.


The team behind Ava represents a broad range of experience from across the tech industry, including veterans from Apple, EA, Facebook and Twitch.

Rather than the usual parental controls solution of adding blocks and restrictions, the app aims to encourage young users to learn healthy online habits through positive reinforcement.

“From day one, kids should be encouraged and taught how to be healthy users of technology, and that’s really the primary objective behind Ava.”

“We are confident that Ava will help rebuild families’ confidence in digital technology because we designed Ava from the ground up to support not only the development of young children but their privacy as well.”

William Heathershaw has previously spoken at Pocket Gamer Connects on numerous occasions, including the inaugural PGC Helsinki event.

The next PGC Helsinki will take place on September 11th to 12th. You can find further details here.



Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.