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Ambient Backlight Displays May Ease Eye Strain At Night

May 1, 2013

New ambient display technology makes tech displays friendlier for our eyes.

For many people, interaction with televisions and computers is a staple of our daily routine. For instance, some of us get ready in the morning while the news is on in the background on the television, some of us work all day in front of our computers in our office space, and some of us may unwind at the end of the day with our favorite computer game or television show.

We interact with these different types of displays sometimes on an hourly basis, and often times we don’t think anything of it. However, with so much time that we spend watching TV or working on the computers, it is important that we are setting up our environments and displays in ways that also properly protect our eyes.

eye strain

Many different vision studies have shown that working on backlight displays in poor lighting conditions or with glare reflecting on the screen can cause serious eye strain. While this may not seem like a big problem after just a few minutes, it can eventually lead to sore eyes, headaches and blurry vision if continued over time.

Luckily, many new technologies are coming out that are working to combat this problem, such as the Lightpack Box. But first, it is important to understand why our eyes experience strain in the first place when looking at lighted displays in poor lighting conditions.

What Happens When We Look At Lighted Displays In The Dark?

Eyestrain has always been known to occur when the eyes are looking at a single object for a long period of time. However, one scenario that is believed to further aggravate our eye strain is watching backlight displays in a dark room. This could be watching television in bed with the lights off or playing on the computer in a poorly lit room.

The reason these scenarios effect our eyes so much is because we are often switching between dark and bright scenes very quickly when these activities are happening. Our pupil reacts to the level of light by changing its size. According to the research done by Lightpack Box, the reaction is sometimes from 1 to 9 millimeters, and when it is switching from darkness to light, it takes about 5 seconds for a pupil to get narrow, and up to 5 minutes to increase the size of a pupil when it gets darker. That is why our eye muscles are in constant tension, which can then lead to the problems in our vision.

New Technology That Eases Eye Strain

One way that scientists have found to help reduce the amount of eye strain that comes from looking at lighted displays is to adjust the ambient lighting in the room. While bright ambient light can worsen eyestrain, and so can working in a dark room, having your room equal in brightness to your computer screen can significantly improve our eyes reaction.

Lightpack Box has embraced this notion and as come up with a way to continue watching TV or working on a computer at night without having to worry about the damage that it is doing to your eyes.

According to their website, “The software analyzes what you currently have on the screen, be it a movie, a game, or anything else, and sends this information to the Lightpack device which in turn lightens the surface behind the screen with matching colors using the RGB-LEDs available within the Lightpack device. The software figures out an average color of the image displayed on the screen for every capture area corresponded to one LED. After that the color data is transferred by USB to the master board, where the firmware, having handled it, makes the definite LED light by the definite color. This process repeats several dozen times per second.

“Lightpack can also level the intensity of light in your room by reducing the difference in lighting between dark and bright scenes or completely eliminating it.”

What do you think about this new kind of ambient technology? Would you consider bringing this kind of device into your home if it meant no eye strain while watching TV or working on the computer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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