Optus has launched Optus Pause, an app that gives users of Optus home and mobile devices and services in Australia the power to temporarily disconnect their devices and avoid those notifications that can pop up and be distracting at times when they otherwise shouldn’t.
Optus said the app will give Optus customers "more control over their mobile and home connectivity" by allowing them to pause connectivity on all, or some, of Optus home and mobile devices and connected services with just one touch – a solution it called "a game-changing Australian first innovation".
Consistent WiFi connectivity is generally considered a good thing for telcos to provide to users of devices that connect to customer plans, however Optus has identified a desire by customers to disconnect at certain times, said Optus vice president of TV, content and product development, Clive Dickens.
“As a technology company we know the positive role that connectivity plays in the everyday lives of Australians but we also understand that sometimes our love of staying connected 24/7 can create distractions for ourselves, our families, our friends, our work colleagues.”
Pause can be used at any time but may be particularly useful when users want moments of peace and quiet, such as at dinnertime, bed-time or in work meetings, Dickens suggested.
“Optus Pause empowers customers to balance their connected time, so a face-to-face business meeting can be social-media-update-free or family dinnertime can be about the conversation not missed snaps, or sleep time can be absent ‘pings’,” he said.
To previously disconnect devices, Optus customers - like WiFi users everywhere - would have needed to access the settings and select disconnect on a home WiFi router or in each individual device, a process that can be quite maddening in homes with multiple devices. However, the Pause app centralises control in one place.
According to Optus, Pause lets customers choose which devices they would like to disconnect and reconnect and allows them to set a timer to have devices go offline or come back online when they choose.
The Pause app is released at a time of increased public interest in the rights of Australian workers to disconnect from work texts and emails after hours, after Victorian Police won an historic change to the Victoria Police Enterprise Agreement 2019, that prevents employers contacting them after work, except in emergencies.