Television has evolved a lot because of technology. Although it was designed to project moving images and visuals on the screen, today’s generation of TVs can do so much more. Aside from watching your favorite TV series, you can now use the television as an Internet browser, a calendar, a reminder alert system, and an alternative computer screen.
And then there are a few who use the TV to lull them to sleep. According to a survey reported in Men’s Health, roughly two-thirds of people around the world have their TV sets turned on within an hour before sleeping. Of course, we realize later that instead of getting sleepy, we end up flipping channels and wasting precious sleep time doing mindless TV watching.
Never in our wildest dreams would we imagine a TV that can cause us to sleep, right?
Tell that to the company who is reportedly developing a new TV technology that automatically adjusts the television screen to induce sleep onto a person watching. The product is called Drift TV, an unassuming little gray box that is designed to be connected to the TV via HDMI cable.
“The Drift TV removes a percentage of blue light from the content you watch on your TV. That way you can enjoy your TV without having your sleep affected by blue light.” (from the Drift TV website)
The impact of blue light from electronic devices on the human body was investigated by studies, one of which was featured in Gizmodo. “Short-wavelength-enriched light (blue-enriched) is likely to cause the most disruption, as it most effectively suppresses melatonin and increases alertness,” the study proponents said.
The concept of blue light emissions affecting sleep is based on studies on melatonin, a natural compound in the human body that affects our biological clock. Researchers from Harvard Medical School confirmed this through experiments where participants exposed to blue light were found to have suppressed melatonin and disrupted body clocks.
Saffron, the company behind the ingenious contraption, designed Drift TV to be a non-interrupting but highly effective color adjustment device. The user can choose how much blue light will be removed from the screen projection. Drift TV will remove the light gradually and seamlessly over the course of an hour.
“You can set how much blue you want to take out. For example, you can set your Drift TV to remove 50% (or any percentage in increments of 10%) of all blue light over a period of 1 hour. That way, the transition is seamless and virtually unnoticeable.” (from the Drift TV website)
Drift TV also comes with the following features:
Drift TV is not yet available for sale in retail stores and in the company website, but Saffron is aiming for the product release by Christmas this year. The company is currently accepting orders for the first 150 units.
Although this technology exists, the folks at the National Sleep Foundation said that the best way to prevent sleeping problems is to “dim your lights when it’s close to bedtime”. Yes, that includes turning off your TV.