World

'Safe screens' to reduce harmful effects of phone addiction

We're still a long way from completely curing smartphone addiction but several tech giants may have found a way to reduce the debilitating effects of prolonged phone usage.

Dubbed the "safe screen", the latest introduction to the tech world allows users to use their mobile devices without having to worry about sleep deprivation and eyesight deterioration.

Mail Online reported that Penn State and Havard University scientists who read e-books before going to bed take longer to fall asleep than those who opt to read printed books. They also found that e-book readers do not sleep as well as those who read printed books.

Dr Anne-Marie Chang, a neuroscientist, told Mail Online: "Our most surprising finding was that individuals using the e-reader would be more tired and take longer to become alert the next morning."

To counter these ill-effects, which are caused by the blue light emitted by smartphone, tablet and computer screens, tech companies such as Phillips, BenQ, Asus and ViewSonic developed screens with altered blue light frequencies.

Phillip's marketing director, Mr Stefan Sommer, said at the IFA Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin, Germany: "We are shifting the harmful blue light frequencies, which are below 450 nanometres (violet), to above 460 nanometres (navy blue)."

According to Phys.org, Mr Serge Picaud, a researcher at Paris' Institute of Sight, conducted a study in 2012 to show the effects of the different wavelengths of light on a pig's retina cells. Mr Picaud's study found that wavelengths between 415 and 455 nanometres killed the cells.

But Mr Vincent Gualino, a French ophthalmologist feels that there is no reason for people to fear the screens of their electronic devices. He cautioned people against spending too much time in front of their screens.

"The real problem is over-consumption," said Mr Gualino.

Sources: Mail Online, Phys.org, The Huffington Post

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