Eyesight Guardian Polices Your Poor Pupils

Don’t know about you, but over the last year or so, we have gone from spending ten or twelve hours a day at this computer to upwards of sixteen or eighteen. Fortunately there’s a window behind the monitor for taking those 20/20/20 breaks that are supposed to prevent eye strain, but it’s so hard to remember (and boring) to do it. And nobody needs yet another thing to remember in the name of self-care.

[Daniel Hingston] certainly agrees. As you’ll see in the delightful video after the break, [Daniel] has made a game out of the whole process of stopping every twenty minutes to spend twenty seconds looking at a point that’s at least twenty feet away. Once the break is over, [Daniel] uses the dual-purpose start button to acknowledge having looked away for 20 seconds. The device is meant to clip onto the corner of any monitor, and [Daniel] has provided several sizes of the bridge piece so that everyone can find their fit.

The Guardian’s guts are pretty simple — an Arduino Pro Mini runs the stop watch and a TFT display to show the graphics that live on an SD card. This is a great way to preserve your eyesight by gamifying something we all know we should be doing. It might be nice to add a break timer that counts up to 25 or thereabouts so you have time to stand up and come back. If you press the button too soon, it scolds you and you have to start your eye break over.

Need some more self-care lately? Our own [Jenny List] has your back in these interesting times.


12 thoughts on “Eyesight Guardian Polices Your Poor Pupils

  1. How about mounting a Michael Reeves-style laser eye tracking system above the screen? Every 20 minutes, it activates and gently encourages you to look away. First with a Class 2 then, if compliance isn’t observed, with a Class 3 and eventually Class 4 laser.

  2. Does it matter if it’s a screen you’re looking at 20 feet away during the 20 second break?

    I can see me using something like this to start and stop play of a low-focus-required YouTube or whatever video on a distant, but large-enough-ish screen. Sometimes it seems like I end up watching videos 20 seconds at a time anyway.

    Otherwise, I’d probably just ignore the break timer most of the time.

  3. How about if it just drops a big Fresnel lens in front of the screen every 20 minutes? That way, my eyes have to refocus, but I don’t have to look away from the screen!

  4. i do 20-20-20 2!
    w/o the HW though
    i just program
    chimes and hourly bells
    on my iPhone/Droids:)

    Found it works
    better though
    if i do something else 2
    like meditatatate
    (ta = 20

  5. Been coding since 1981 when I was 11. Been using computers ever since. Professional for over 25 years. Got my first pair of glasses only two years ago. Being Dyslexic and a little on the spectrum I can easily sink 8 hours into one long coding session without blinking. Have dinner, and bang out another 4 hour session before bed. That has been my life for the last 40 years. Could explain my my longest relationship was 10 years with most being a few months and the last 5 years been happily single as I was till I was 30. Told you I was bit on the spectrum. :D

    Point is, I am not convinced by the idea that monitors damage your eyes. Mine are better than most of my peers. Maybe if they are already weak then I guess it can give you problems. But I suspect you would have the same issues what ever you were doing.

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