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LCD panel with 5 second refresh designed to stop eye strain

Looking at a bright screen for a long period of time, be it a monitor, tablet, or phone display, can cause your eyes to get tired, dry up, or even induce eye strain. That’s why it’s much nicer to read text from e-paper using an E Ink screen.

There’s a number of reasons a typical LCD panel can cause eye strain. They include glare, the difference between the screen brightness and the light available at your location, how far away from the screen your eyes are, the screen refresh, and even an individual’s vision quality.

Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) has been working to produce an LCD panel that doesn’t cause eye strain or tiredness, and the company believes it has come up with a solution. At the FPD International 2012 show in Japan SEL introduced a 6-inch version of this LCD panel.

The panel stops eye strain by greatly reducing the refresh rate of the screen. Typically this can be 60 times per second for a normal LCD. With a still image, SEL only needs to refresh this new panel once every 5 seconds. The backlight has also been tweaked so as not to produce light that has a wavelength below 420nm–light that is thought to harm your eyes.

The end result is a panel that is very easy on your eyes yet still capable of performing like a typical LCD. The refresh rate can be increased depending on what is being viewed, and the resolution is acceptable at 768 x 1024 and 212ppi. That will surely improve with further development, though.

If it performs well, the panel could be another blow to dedicated e-readers using E Ink, which currently can’t playback video or display images in color. That is changing with continued development of the technology, but it may come too late if LCD panels can remove the problems of eye strain and tiredness when using them for extended periods of time.

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