When you’re carrying out some important PC task – researching a big topic on the web, say – then it’s easy to become totally immersed. And so, once you start looking at the display, you might not look away again for a very long time.
If this only happens occasionally, it may not be a problem. But if you’re always engaged in lengthy PC sessions then you may find it leaves your eyes feeling very tired. Which is why you could need a little help from the free Eye Pro 2.1.
At its simplest the program just provides a simple activity timer, displaying pop-ups warning you to take a break occasionally. Sounds intrusive, but it really isn’t; these “breaks” are only for a customisable 8 seconds every 15 minutes, or 1 minute every 45, just long enough for you to look at something in the distance for a while.
And if you’re really immersed in something then you can cancel a short break with a click, although the User Stats page will then let you see how often you’re really doing this (if you’re cancelling them all then there’s clearly a problem).
Eye Pro 2.1 does have other tricks available, though. The program also provides “screen filters”, coloured overlays which appear over your desktop. If there’s a lot of bright blue on the screen, for example, the authors say applying the blue filter should neutralise screen glare and make your system more comfortable to view.
And elsewhere, a “Vision Therapy” section provides various simple animations and games which the authors claim may improve your eye health. You can watch a ball bounce around the screen, for instance, or try to see the image in a 3D stereogram.
We’re not entirely sure how effective some of these options will be, but that’s not too important: the timer alone could be very useful, just by giving your eyes a regular chance to shift from close-up work to focusing on more distant objects.
And although we initially the “Pro” name meant we’d be trying some crippled or adware-packed free version, the reality is very different. Eye Pro 2.1 comes in an entirely safe SourceForge download, with no marketing beyond a Donate option – and even that is more about “donating a cup of food to children” than profiting by fooling you into installing the Babylon Toolbar.