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Displays Open Source Build Games Technology

Startup's Open Source Device Promises Gamers "Surround Sound For Your Eyes" 43

alphadogg (971356) writes A startup called Antumbra run by 5 college students is looking to throw a little soothing light on this situation: People who hunker down in front of their computers until the wee hours, until it feels like their eyes might fall out. Antumbra's open-source-based Glow, which launches in a limited beta of 100 $35 units on Thursday, is a small (1.5" x 1.5"x 0.5") doohickey that attaches to the back of your computer monitor via USB port and is designed to enhance your work or gaming experience — and lessen eye strain — by spreading the colors from your screen onto the wall behind it in real time. The idea is to reduce the contrast in colors between the computer screen and the background area. The the idea might not be new, and people have been home-brewing their own content-driven lighting like this for a while, but this is the first I've seen that looks like a simple add-on.
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Startup's Open Source Device Promises Gamers "Surround Sound For Your Eyes"

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  • It seems like something that would be useful, but the article says it needs to be "1 to 3 feet from a wall" which would leave a lot of wasted space in most rooms.

    Also, only 1 LED? Should have a whole ring of them!
    • It seems like something that would be useful, but the article says it needs to be "1 to 3 feet from a wall" which would leave a lot of wasted space in most rooms.

      It's probably more common than not to have a PC backed up onto a wall. And my living room television is in such a location, but there's no reasonable way to add such functionality to it anyhow.

      Also, only 1 LED? Should have a whole ring of them!

      It does seem like you'd need at minimum 8 or 9 LEDs to get a decent effect.

  • You could just purchase a torche lamp with a dimmer control.
    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      You could just purchase a torche lamp with a dimmer control.

      But .. but .. but .. Startup!!!!!!!!

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      That automatically changes with the screen colors?

      • Do you really need to have the light change colors?

        Having a slightly lit room is enough to lower the contrast between the screen and its surroundings.

        • Think of it as nerd mood lighting.

          So all of those geeks fapping in their mom's basement can have a more, er, intimate experience.

          And, just think how lovely it will be next April(*) when Slashdot does the "OMG Ponies" theme.

          (*) Note to editors, though, we may have to take out contracts on you if you do.

        • Yes but - seems that the color would be more immersive.

          My Dad simply put a small lamp with a "10W" nightlight bulb behind his TV that turns on/off through the aux power port on the TV box. The room is pretty dark - even during the day. So this light actually makes it more comfortable to watch TV. I did something similar in my house too.

          A simple light - that changes color. That goes to 10. That cool DIY in the link - goes to 11.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    steal schematics from opensource and next morning we're young famous innovators.

  • Only if it comes in the form of a bitchin' panther [collectorsweekly.com]
  • It's a nice idea and look cool. But have they actually compared eye strain with and without this? And with a placebo
  • Eye strain isn't from the colors - it's from the brightness of the screen switching and if the screen is the only light source in the room your eyes has to constantly adjust to new brightness levels.

    To avoid eye strain - turn on a small lamp in the room. Make sure the ambient light in the room is not zero. That's way better. If anything I'd think this make it worse - the brightness of the whole room changes constantly making your eyes having to adjust more, not less.

    • I guess you missed the parts where projected colors also constitute "light". A light behind your screen is good. Color matching doesn't take that away.

      Sincerely, Owner of a custom PC-based $300 Ambilight system for 7 years. It makes a huge difference.

  • But the guy in front of me in the open space might not really like having colored light shoved in his face.

  • Seems like a cool idea, just concerned about how much overhead the software will cause.

    So, basically, it needs to continuously poll the frame buffer, copy over a fairly huge block of data, rip through the pixel data to determine the mean colors, and then set the device color though the USB port.

    I really would have preferred an all hardware solution where its a pass through of your DVI / HDMI, and there would be a DSP that analyzed the HDMI stream and set the color accordingly.
  • by Himmy32 ( 650060 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @10:59AM (#48102667)
    After putting a standard halogen light behind my monitor, I eliminated the headaches was having. [/anecdote]

    I fail to see how having the light colored does anything additional besides be distracting.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Philips' version is designed to make the screen look bigger, not save your eyes. If you want to reduce fatigue just turn the brightness down a bit, and select a warming (less blue) colour temperature.

    • From my experience (I Am Not An Eye Doctor) Eye fatigue can be seriously affected by the light in the room around your monitor. The fact that most people now have flat panel displays, mitigates some of the problem. People used to have CRT monitors and often they were at 60hz. The other problem is that we often have florescent lights and those are at 60hz as well. We perceive consistent light, while in fact the light in the room is flickering on and off all the time. And your eyes can in fact respond to thes

  • So, put a mirror on the wall behind you.

    I'm afraid I don't really see the point. This is "preventing eye strain for people who don't want to prevent eye strain by not sitting in the dark".

    But, hey, think of it as a geek disco ball I guess.

    I'm sure some gamers will say it makes their gaming more enjoyable, and audiophiles with monster cable will say that it gives the sound a more smooth, mellow taste.

    Me, I'll stick with my collection of lava lamps. I'm really going to miss lava lamps once all the old fashi

  • True gamers use big enough and near enough screens as to cover their entire FoV.

  • As far as I can tell, this is the same thing:
    http://store.lightpack.tv/products/lightpack

  • I found this tool a while back. In a matter of minutes I could feel my eyes sigh in relief:

    http://jonls.dk/redshift/
  • "...people have been home-brewing their own content-driven lighting like this for a while, but this is the first I've seen that looks like a simple add-on."

    There's a reason for this. What they are trying to sell is Ambilight, and Ambilight is patented.

    Google "ambilight clone" and you'll find hundreds of open designs you can easily build yourself - patent holders generally don't (or can't) touch distribution of paper designs - but they're not legal to sell commercially.

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