#629: PageShading

Anyone who has ever worked on creating any kind of machine vision software knows that even a uniformly-lit surface usually isn’t.

Although eg a page in a book looks beautifully even and white, in fact instruments indicate there is almost always a strong lighting gradient across the printed area. The visual system takes this into account and removes the effect from our conscious perception. I have a theory that this is one of the remaining reasons that people enjoy reading paper books rather than electronic screens. The pages of books are often read deliberately with a curve maintained in the page and I think this is unknowlingly used by readers to provide a subliminal sense of “where I’ve got” to in the text.

Today’s invention is to provide electronic screens with a subtle contrast gradient across the ‘page’ as a reading aid. This might be enhanced by having light sensors in the reader device which could tell where the room lighting was coming from and adjust the gradient(s) accordingly.

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