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The Dangers of Graphic-Intensive Software

Computer Vision Syndrome and the Importance of Prioritizing Health and Productivity in Software Design

By Avi Hartmann

Founder & Member of the Board

In 1977, Kenneth Harry Olsen, one of the pioneers of the computer world who had founded DEC ("Digital Equipment Corporation") in 1957, declared that “there was no reason for a private person to have a computer in their home”. At the time, DEC's sales had reached 14 billion dollars a year, and Olsen had been at the company's helm for 35 years. However, this statement has since become a striking example of business and technological short-sightedness.

This time, we'll discuss computer graphics and myopia, and how they can lead to a condition known as "computer vision syndrome". Numerous studies have already identified this syndrome, which is characterized by a range of symptoms. These include dry eyes, eye discomfort, general fatigue, difficulty concentrating, blurred or double vision, burning or difficulty focusing the eyes, unclear vision when looking into the distance, sensitivity to light, and neck or shoulder pain that can become quite uncomfortable.

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms while reading this, you are not alone: approximately 50% of people who work with computers face these challenges. Studies have shown that the cause is clear: the strain of looking at a computer screen puts a heavy burden on the eyes, which were not designed for such demanding work. Researchers have found that the constant effort required to focus on close objects for long periods can cause the focusing system to lock up, a phenomenon known as “Accommodative Spasms”. This means that the muscles responsible for focusing become strained and can lead to myopia, even in people who did not have it before. While impressive graphics may look good during the sales pitch, they can exact a price later on. In fact, excessive graphic design can also reduce concentration and hinder productivity, particularly during critical work moments.

At the start of the workday, the fleet is just starting up and activity is typically low. Issues or alerts tend to arise as workloads and traffic increase, and it's precisely at this point, after several hours of working with complex graphics, that concentration can begin to decrease.

The studies and phenomena we have mentioned are well-known among large companies, and many have taken steps to address them. One need only look at the significant graphic changes made by companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook in their office software, moving away from screens overloaded with beautiful and colorful graphics to dark mode, screens with easily legible fonts, less graphic load, and fewer colors.

Unfortunately, most companies in our field operate in precisely the opposite direction. For example, consider the features offered by companies like 3D tracking - - which illustrate the magnitude of the danger that awaits their users. This is just one example, but it represents the majority of companies in our field.

Several questions arise at this point. Have these companies read the studies? Are they not aware of the changes that we have seen in large corporations? We would like to assume that they have read the studies and are also aware of the changes.

The impression one gets is that they may be driven by a completely different motive, one that is not related to the use of the software but rather to sales. Graphic software may sell better than the same software with healthier graphics, as customers can be drawn into a false allure that comes at a high price when they start using the software. That price can be the loss of health and efficiency at work.

At Helios, we hold our customers in high regard, and we are willing to forego some sales in order to prioritize their health and long-term efficiency when using our software. We make adjustments to the font, contrast, and graphic load not because we are unable to design them as graphically intensive as or other competitors, but because we want to ensure that our customers are not harmed.

We believe that our customers deserve the best when it comes to their health and work efficiency, which is why we prioritize their well-being in every aspect of our software design. We hope that by reading this article, our customers will recognize the dangers of graphic-intensive software and choose to prioritize their health and productivity by using Helios Tracker. We also hope that our competitors will follow in the footsteps of industry giants and join us in prioritizing customer well-being. Join the Helios Tracker community today and experience the benefits of software designed with your health in mind.

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