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Prison-style Study Ball keeps students shackled to desk

The Study Ball is a prison-style ball and chain with a built-in timer that you program to keep track of study time. Call it xtreme studying.

Study Ball

Are your easily distracted kids having trouble getting motivated to write that term paper? Why not chain them to their desks until they've done what they're supposed to do? It might sound a bit extreme, but hey, if you want your kids to get into Harvard, sometimes extremes are what it takes!

The Study Ball is a prison-style ball and 16.5-inch chain with a built-in, programmable timer. Select the desired duration of the study session and chain the ball to the ankle in question, and the steel manacle won't come off until the scheduled time is up. A red LED indicator shows progress by displaying the "Study Time Left." Sound like good fun? More fun than having to settle for a second-choice college, we guess.

The $115 Study Ball weighs about 20 pounds, which makes it difficult to get up and stroll out into the prison yard while wearing it. Fortunately, the gadget comes with a safety key that can open the shackle at any time--a welcome feature if the wearer needs to take a bathroom break. Also fortunate: the device can't be programmed for more than four straight hours.

The Study Ball was created for gifts site Curiosite by Spanish designer Emilio Alarcon. The project was born of a conversation Alarcon had with a friend who was studying for a civil service exam and said: "I haven't left the house in a week, this is like being in jail."

Beyond use on teenagers, Curiosite also recommends the ball and chain for Web designers, computer programmers, bloggers, architects, translators, and anyone else who spends long hours sitting in front of the computer. Please note that once it comes off, wearers are required to pound out a few license plates.