Apple just announced Color Shift, a new color feature for mobile devices. In Apple’s own words:
“Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep. Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings.”
So, which are those studies? Here are a couple:
Pennsylvania State University, US
Uni Research, Norway
However, the studies only show that the use of mobile devices, particularly at night, disrupts the sleep of teenagers. Duh. I have a couple of teenagers myself and yes, sometimes it’s difficult to get them off their iPads to go to sleep. But does that have anything to do with the color of the screen? I highly doubt it.
Researcher Anne-Marie Chang of Pennsylvania State University says: "Blue light plays havoc with your sleep by disrupting your circadian rhythms”
However, her own research paper notes: “This negative impact on sleep may be due to the short-wavelength–enriched light emitted by these electronic devices”. 'May be' doesn't quite sound like 'playing havoc', does it?
Steven Lockley, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, says mobile devices are a particular concern due to how close the light source usually is to a person's eyes. "But it's important to remember that all light, not just blue light, will increase alertness and have an effect on the body clock."
Could it be that Apple is interpreting research in a very particular way in order to boost the value of their own iOS? If everyone starts believing in color shift, we may well see the same feature appear at the other brands. Oh no, wait, it already happened.
I sure hope the new feature can be turned off, because I for one get nauseous from shifting colors.