Distracted? Giant MyFocus button blocks all your messages

Hit this button when you want to focus on work. It will keep distractions at bay and show others you're busy.

MyFocus
Hit it: MyFocus glows red or green, showing others if you're busy or free. CanFocus

Thanks to e-mail, phone calls, SMS, and the cat industrial complex on YouTube, there are are countless ways to ruin your focus when you're trying to work.

According to research from the University of California at Irvine, it takes 23 minutes to get back on track following an interruption. Meanwhile, distractions may also dull your cognitive performance.

So what we all need are giant desktop buttons that turn the world off so we can concentrate for a change.

At least, that's what the developers of MyFocus believe. It's a button measuring 3.5 inches across that can block incoming messages on your computer and mobile devices.

The subject of an ambitious Kickstarter campaign for about $125,000, MyFocus also works in the real world: its LED glows red or green to show those around you when you're busy or available.

"Our founder, Lahav Gil, leads an industrial design and medical devices company," Paul Chipperton, CEO of Toronto-based developer CanFocus, tells CNET. "He needs to be able to be on green to meet and greet, and remain undisturbed (on red) when he is in deep-thinking and/or creative design mode.

"That was hard to do in a modern environment, so he and a friend first designed a flip card, then a 'systems' solution, encompassing digital and physical distractions control."

While you can hit the physical MyFocus button to change your status, you can also change it online, which causes your status to change across all linked devices and apps.

The messages go into a "holding pattern" and when you go back to green, all messages are immediately delivered.

Linking to your computer via USB, it's designed to work across Android, iOS, Microsoft, and BlackBerry platforms. CanFocus also wants to make it work with VoIP phones, as well as social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The Kickstarter campaign is offering MyFocus buttons starting at about $76. Check out a demo of MyFocus with Skype in the vid below.

 

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