FAQ

This looks great! Where can I download the app?

Recess is currently in the early stages of development, and is not available for use. We plan on issuing a beta version in the coming months. Please sign up for our newsletter if you would like to receive updates on our progress.

Why is the app called Recess?

We all remember recess, that glorious break between monotonous classes that allowed us to wake up and breathe some fresh air. This app aims to replicate that feeling while motivating users to take recess on their own.

What makes Recess unique?

Few, if any, apps exist that show computer users exactly how much time and energy they are using each day. By combining this in-demand feature with engaging design and humor, Recess will fill a void and help users to manage their time effectively while still remaining visually and emotionally appealing.

How does Recess help me manage my computer time?

The app’s core feature is its ability to generate an average computer use time for each user. The app sends a desktop notification when the average is reached each day. By making this data visible, we believe Recess will inspire users to spend less time engaged in “nonessential” activities on their computers and spend more time exercising, reading or hanging with friends or family.

How is my average calculated?

Recess tracks the amount of time a user’s computer is on and awake. If a laptop is closed, or a desktop is asleep, the time is not counted in the average. However, energy used during these “sleep” periods will be included in energy use/cost calculations.

If I need to increase my computer time because of work, will Recess adjust my average?

Averages are calculated from the past 60 days of use. So, if you change jobs or all of a sudden have a major project, Recess will learn your new usage pattern and adjust your average accordingly.

What do my personal statistics show?

Analysis reports will detail total time spent on the computer, averages (day, week, month), energy used, and energy cost (based on local energy prices)

What are these notifications I hear of?

Notifications are Recess’ way of interacting with users. On the default setting, Recess will send a notification when the daily average has been reached and notify users at times it “thinks” time is being used inefficiently. Let’s say user Nick is almost always off his computer at 3am, but today he is. Recess may send a notification asking, “Aren’t you tired? That website isn’t going anywhere,” or “Late night huh?” Gentle reminders can offer that extra bit of motivation that many computer users desire.

Can I customize my notifications?

Notification customization is one of the most exciting features of Recess. Users will be able to designate what “voice” the app uses by adjusting the “sass meter.” Some users will want basic, gentle reminders, while others will respond better to a sassy, cheeky tone. We are working to ensure that Recess will meet the needs of any and all users.

Can I turn off notifications?

Yes! If you just want to view your usage statistics, you can turn of all notifications.

Can I write my own notifications?

Users can write their own notifications, but we are more excited about the feature allowing friends and family to write notifications for each other. Recess will include a social component in which users can choose to allow others to write personalized notifications for them.

What if I ignore the notifications?

Notifications will close after a certain amount of time. However, users can choose to leave their notifications up until closed manually.

Does the app track what programs/websites I am on?

Recess does not track program or website usage and does not store any personal data other than the information measured in the analytics reports.

Can institutions/business use Recess on a larger scale?

We are especially excited by the prospect of implementing Recess on a large scale. Institutions (academic, governmental, multinational) and businesses will have the ability to set up accounts that aggregate information from all of the computers on their network. For example, account managers could have computers remind users to shut down at the end of the work day, and show their employees/members their commitment to saving energy. We envision a process where energy savings will be donated to environmental causes, or perhaps even matched by managers or outside donors.