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Development => PC, Mac & Vintage Computers => Topic started by: gameblabla on September 15, 2016, 09:54:41 am

Title: A program for Eye strain
Post by: gameblabla on September 15, 2016, 09:54:41 am
Epilepy warning, this program quickly alternates colors !

I was looking at an old article about e-ink displays and whetever they were better for eyes than LCDs. (http://www.tabletpcreview.com/feature/lcd-vs-eink-are-eink-screens-really-better-for-your-eyes/)
The doctor said the reason for eye strain is because we are not blnking enough and we are looking at our screen for too long.
He suggested the rule 20/20 : Every 20 minutes, look elsewhere (your cat for example) for 20 seconds.
Since i care about my health, i have decided to make a little program that would follow this rule, with some differences.
After 15 minutes, the screen will randomly blink, forcing you to stop looking at the screen.

Source is here and it requires SDL2 for graphics :
https://github.com/gameblabla/eyes_doctor_lcd (https://github.com/gameblabla/eyes_doctor_lcd)

Compile the program with the makefile (or using a GUI manually) and put the resulting executable at startup.
The code should be pretty portable and can even be in theory ported to the TI-Nspire.

What the program does :
It will show you a red screen every minute for 2 seconds, meaning you should blink.
Every 15 minutes, the screen will randomly alternate colors, forcing you to look away from screen for about 20 seconds.
Repeat.

For my own use, it works pretty well so i'm sure it will be useful to some of you here.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: p2 on September 15, 2016, 11:47:02 am
could you maybe provide screenshots of what the program does // how it looks like? :)
Edit: I don't have a cat... :'(
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 15, 2016, 04:19:55 pm
Is a cat a requirement? :P

Nice idea, though. Just make sure it can be disabled at will, in case someone plays multiplayer games. Also I always wondered if Twilight and f.lux are effective?
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: gameblabla on September 15, 2016, 06:21:15 pm
Quote from: p2 on September 15, 2016, 11:47:02 am
could you maybe provide screenshots of what the program does // how it looks like? :)

There's not much to it, it just quickly alternates colors. (and i don't want to put an epilepsy warning here so...)

QuoteNice idea, though. Just make sure it can be disabled at will, in case someone plays multiplayer games. Also I always wondered if Twilight and f.lux are effective?

The user has to manually put the executable at startup and it can be uninstalled at any time.
(just make sure to kill the application with a task killer though after)
Yeah, it's quite primitive i admit, i could add a taskbar to it if i wanted.

And no, the cat isn't a requirement. (plus sometimes they can be super annoying, you're not missing much guys)

Didn't know about f.lux, i looked at it and it doesn't seem at adress the issues with eye strain at all.
Plus it has no proof it actually solves eye strain or even backed by some evidence (doctors or scientists).
Finally, it is proprietary and has no linux version.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: p2 on September 15, 2016, 06:25:25 pm
Quote from: gameblabla on September 15, 2016, 06:21:15 pm
Quote from: p2 on September 15, 2016, 11:47:02 am
could you maybe provide screenshots of what the program does // how it looks like? :)

There's not much to it, it just quickly alternates colors. (and i don't want to put an epilepsy warning here so...)

In this case you should DEFINITELY put up a warning for guys affected by epilepsy not to use it!!  :ninja:
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: gameblabla on September 15, 2016, 06:40:36 pm
I had realised my program does not solve the blinking issue, only the rule 20/20.
For 15 minutes straight, the user will look at the screen without blinking once.
This isn't good so i have modified my program once again.

Every minute, the program will show you a red screen for 2 seconds,
basically telling you to blink.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: p2 on September 15, 2016, 07:11:40 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 15, 2016, 04:19:55 pmNice idea, though. Just make sure it can be disabled at will, in case someone plays multiplayer games.

I guess a nice lovely female voice telling you to "f***ing blink" would be cool for something like a "gaming mode" (or audio instead of video in general ^^)
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 15, 2016, 08:09:49 pm
I am refering to how in multiplayer games there's no pause feature, so if you're Zerg at Starcraft and are in thr middle of a battle and your screen vanishes then it's pretty much game over.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: gameblabla on September 15, 2016, 08:13:12 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on September 15, 2016, 08:09:49 pm
I am refering to how in multiplayer games there's no pause feature, so if you're Zerg at Starcraft and are in thr middle of a battle and your screen vanishes then it's pretty much game over.

In that case, an audio-only version could be done but i'm afraid people will not follow the 20/20 rule however if it's audio-only.
But I agree i can't cover everything...
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: Yuki on September 16, 2016, 05:01:03 am
Something that gives you epilepsy if you're looking at it? Interesting.

I wonder how efficient it is compared to less epilepsy-inducing solutions such as f.lux, but that's an interesting way to look at the problem.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 16, 2016, 07:01:48 am
Audio could work if the game audio isn't too loud. I guess it would be up to the user to setup his games to not be too loud.

As for f.lux and Twilight my concern is that while it made the screen less blue, I had the impression that it did not necessarily filter the blue light that's said to keep people awake. I mean, even if the entire content of your phone screen is a black picture, the screen still produces blue-tinted light of some sort it seems. It seems to be like if your house was on fire and you turned off the lights in order to reduce the lightning. Twilight and f.lux does help slightly, but I feel they are not that effective.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: gameblabla on September 16, 2016, 07:09:15 am
Yeah, i don't think an audio version would be very effective... unless the user is blind but then again,
they don't have to worry about eye strain haha.

If anyone is wondering how effective the program is, i spent almost 9 hours straight on my computer using it
and i can see a difference. (see what i did there ?)
My eyes hurt less than what they used before so i believe the doctor was right all along after all.
It's not quite an antidote though... my eyes are still tired but it's an improvement.

Some might find it annoying though : several times the red screen interrupted my work.
It can be tweaked to be less aggressive though.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 16, 2016, 07:12:25 am
Actually, for audio I think the best way would be to set it much louder, not like scary pop ups, but still significantly louder than everything else, or maybe have everything else fade to zero volume while the PC tells you to look elsewhere for 20 seconds. But then if the user is nervous or easily scared or if he has heart issues then such loud sounds will cause more problems than anything else. Anyway I'm glad your program was useful to you so far. :)
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: p2 on September 16, 2016, 08:52:15 am
try playing a song on your computer and then turning up the volume from 0 to 100 within just 2 seconds - since it starts at a low volume it won't scare anyone anymore ;)
could do the same for this program: some nice background melody starting at low volume and when it's at 100% a voice telling you to blink or something ^^ (would end up with 4-5sec of audio which is still acceptable I think
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 16, 2016, 11:34:12 pm
I often found out that sometimes I'm too much into a game to notice songs that starts playing :P
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: p2 on September 17, 2016, 05:10:08 pm
yes but imagine you had your volume at 10000% for whatever reason and suddenly a loud sound starts to play xD You should give the user the chance to adjust volume before the voice tells you something ^^
And just a beep or both anoying and scary >.<
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 19, 2016, 04:01:43 am
Yeah true. That said, I noticed my computer sound card adjust volume pretty quickly overall when sounds are very loud. It doesn't do it based on my computer volume but rather the audio loudness.
Title: Re: A program for Eye strain
Post by: c4ooo on October 16, 2016, 10:40:11 pm
From personal experience, I think I blink every 30 seconds or so when at computer. I probably need to take 20 second breaks more often though ussualy if ime playing CID or something I go fetch something to eat/drink when the round finishes. Don't do it as much while programming though cause there isn't really any "breaks".