Pros and Cons of Video Screen Glasses

From the Washington Post

Have you ever wanted to look at life through rose-colored glasses? The American Optical Corp. of Southbridge, Mass., has invented a way to look at video screens through rose-colored "video terminal glasses."

The glasses come in three tints--pink, gray and blue--to reduce glare and brighten the characters on a video screen, says Neal David, American Optical's senior marketing manager.

Different tints are necessary for the three most common types of video screens: green characters on a black background, black characters on a white background, and multicolored displays.

"For the green-on-black screen we use the pink glasses," says David, "because it's just the opposite in the color scheme, and (pink) just tends to bring out the characters and sharpen the edges." Gray tints are for black-and-white screens, and blue tints are for amber screens with multicolored displays.

An advertisement for the glasses says they "reduce lens reflectance by approximately 61%, and screen out more that 99% of ambient ultraviolet radiation."

Some eye experts question the usefulness of the glasses, including Dr. Martin Mainster, director of clinical research at the Retina Foundation in Boston, who says there is no evidence that video terminal glasses will reduce glare.

Marketing for the glasses began in May, 1984, but it is still difficult to find them in stores. "We have several companies interested in buying the glasses for their employees," David says. Cost for nonprescription video terminal glasses is about $100.

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