Winter has gripped the Northern Hemisphere in its icy fingers. North of our Oslo headquarters, in Narvik, polar night descends tonight to blanket the area in a deep blue until January. Days spent in cold and darkness leads many of us to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which lowers one’s mood and causes sluggishness.
None of us want such bleakness compounded by the odium of poor video quality, which has been proven to cause negative emotional responses in viewers. That’s why, just in time for the short days of December, we’ve improved our Lucid Mode – a feature that provides videos with better-than-ever brightness, sharpness, and clarity. Not only has the underlying technology been upgraded – resulting in better browser performance and battery life – but you can now control the extent of video enhancement within Settings. Once you configure the video quality to your specifications, you can – by hovering on the Lucid Mode button on any video – click a slider that allows you to see the crispness boosted in real time.
First identified by Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal in 1984, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a condition that afflicts tens of millions of people around the world. Often called winter depression, SAD affects as many as twenty percent of adults to some greater or lesser degree, with symptoms including less energy, difficulty concentrating, and feeling generally down. We spoke with Dr. Rosenthal recently, and he had some thoughts about how we can navigate the gloom.
“It’s been famously quipped that, ‘Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.’ Well now we can! The general principle of fighting SAD is getting light, more light. And you can do that by going outside and walking, maybe going skiing up in the Alps if you can. But you can also do that through artificial means. So I would encourage everyone out there to go and get yourself some good light boxes,” said Dr. Rosenthal, the author of Defeating SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder): A Guide to Health and Happiness Through All Seasons.
On top of introducing an improved Lucid Mode, we’ve also created a special, luminous Sunrise wallpaper, designed to combat the winter blues by showering you with light. It may not be a substitute for a SAD lamp, but it’s the best we could do from a software perspective – for now!
Opera has also recorded a podcast discussing SAD with Dr. Rosenthal, where you can find more tips on how to beat the winter sadness.
Enabling Lucid Mode
The Lucid Mode icon appears as soon as you access a website with video content. It can be activated by clicking the icon with three stars. You can see the improvements to the video in real time by dragging a slider from left to right across the video. The level of video quality enhancement can be further adjusted in the browser settings.
To see whether you might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, take Dr. Rosenthal’s quiz here. If you are feeling severely down or depressed, please consult your physician or a psychologist.
So cross Standard Definition Disorder off your list of worries this winter! Download Opera here.