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Old 06-24-2009, 12:01 AM   #1
curiouspiper
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Feedback from seizure sufferers?

My husband has brain cancer and suffers from seizures and can't read on LCDs but is an avid reader, so continues to read pbooks. I'd like to get him a 505, but can anyone comment on whether it might increase seizure triggers due to the page turn mechanism? We looked at the 700 at a local store, but he definitely couldn't handle to lack of contrast with the touch screen.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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I remember this topic coming up once before and the answers were somewhat inconclusive:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25078

mostly based on the limited personal experience available. Reasonable hypotheses were there (eg. that e-ink might be suitable over, for instance, a "flickering" screen), but I think I saw mention elsewhere from a seizure sufferer that the "page-turn" quickly gave her a feeling of nausea, which wasn't a good sign (she had gone to a store and tested it). I have little awareness of the triggers for seizures though, and don't know how "personal" they get (I get migraine, where triggers vary greatly for different people, so I'm simply reaching for analogy here, sorry ).

Perhaps if you specify your location (no, I don't mean actual address - just roughly ), some MR members could arrange a "meet-up" in a coffee shop or something where you and your husband could see devices (or at least a device, like the 505) and also see if the page-turn has potential negative consequences?

Otherwise, perhaps since that above thread, MR might have other sufferers who can offer better advice. I wish you well in your search and, for as little as it matters, the same in your husband's health.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply and the pointer to the other thread Marc.

We did manage to borrow a 505 from a friend for a day or two. My husband initially liked it, but he started getting a headache after a half hour or so. I'm not sure if that was due to the page turning or because he found the contrast to be a bit low. The good news was no seizure, but he hasn't tried it again.

We held out hope that the light on the 700 (or the add-on light) might be the solution, but he threw it back at the store clerk after 10 seconds or so, afraid he was going to take a seizure. I looked at it too and found the touch screen material to be much more opaque, found it really affected the text readability and found the light to be annoying and not helpful. I guess it doesn't help that we're both used to dealing with high res detail work day-in, day-out, so we're fussy

We're hoping that the 505 (after an adjustment period and a good non-LED reading light?) might work for him. I'm still interested if anyone with sensitivity issues (seizures, migraines or otherwise) has feedback or suggestions from longer term use of the 505 or other device?

Oh, your analogy with migraine triggers holds true for seizures too...triggers and symptoms are very personal, but there are comparisons or categories of things that tend to bother most affected people affect. My husband is definitely motion sensitive (too much car travel, LEDs and other flashing lights, too much movement of picture on TV or in movies...e.g. can't watch 24 or most high budget visual effects movies), anything else that flickers (CRTs, candles, fluorescent lights, etc.), increased exposure to heat and humidity, lack of sleep, stress, etc.

I know he could just stick to paper, but the ereaders are so convenient to carry with you instead of piles of books, my husband keep almost all books he buys, so storage is an issue and I'm allergic to dust and I really don't like to think about the hygiene of books from extended stays in the hospital

Cheers!
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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What about a jetBook?

You might consider trying a jetBook. I've never used one but from this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQE69WsCTWk

it looks like there is no page flash. Page turning is at about the :56 second mark in the video.

There's lots of additional good information in this thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47377

A jetBook won't be much good if you want current bestsellers but if your husband enjoys classics from Project Gutenberg, it might be a good fit.

Hope this helps,
Kieran
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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I just noticed you said your husband can't read on LCDs but is that perhaps due to the backlighting? If not, please ignore my ramblings about the jetBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krhysling View Post
You might consider trying a jetBook. I've never used one but from this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQE69WsCTWk

it looks like there is no page flash. Page turning is at about the :56 second mark in the video.

There's lots of additional good information in this thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47377

A jetBook won't be much good if you want current bestsellers but if your husband enjoys classics from Project Gutenberg, it might be a good fit.

Hope this helps,
Kieran
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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I've never noticed any flickering (I assume that's what set off the seizures?) on my PDA (LCD screen). However, when I take the other one in the house (my old one, the one my husband is using ), I do notice some flickering (only when I'm tired though).

The biggest difference beween those two screens is the resolutions. They are both 3.4", but one is 320x200, the other 640x480. Also, one is not transflective, the other (the newer) is.

What I'm trying to say is, not all LCD screens are created equal! You might try to look at the Jetbook krhysling is talking about, even though it's "only" a LCD screen.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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Epileptic seizures can and often are set off by flickering far faster than people are consciously able to notice. In fact, whether the flickering is noticeable is not likely to be directly relevant to how like it is to cause a seizure. Any type of screen technology based on continuous screen-refreshing (I suspect this includes all CRT screens, and all LCD, and all Plasma screens... everything except eInk at this present state of technology) is a potential hazard. However people tend to be sensitive to particular (though very possibly multiple) ranges of frequencies that induce seizures for them.

Basically if LCDs are known to be a problem, the type of LCD is not likely to make a difference... unless some LCDs only do screen-refreshes upon explicit request. (i.e.: the pixels are continuously on, without any interruption or refresh)

Do I have it right, Curiouspiper?

- Ahi
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
I've never noticed any flickering (I assume that's what set off the seizures?) on my PDA (LCD screen). However, when I take the other one in the house (my old one, the one my husband is using ), I do notice some flickering (only when I'm tired though).
You can't see it, that's the whole premise of an LCD/CRT screen. eInk doesn't do this, but doesn't mean anything. I am a bit surprised though by the OP's issue. Perhaps a larger font size should be used. I don't see turning the page on eInk and different than a pbook... isn't there a "flash" when you turn an pbook.

Perhaps trying the Kindle 2 or waiting for the newer Jinke versions with the faster Epson controllers would be a good idea.

The image on the screen is updated 60 times per second. Most people don't see it... but it could affect people that are prone to seizures.

BOb
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:17 AM   #9
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Dear curiouspiper,
Much as I am very happy with the jetBook for myself, it doesn't seem like it would be a good fit in this situation. Even if the non-backlit LCD does not flicker much, the 5" size combined with a larger font would require frequent page-turns - which wouldn't be good from what I understand.

Seems that less "motion" is best - perhaps the larger Kindle DX would be a better choice? Even with larger fonts, it wouldn't require as many page-turns. Amazon has a good return policy so perhaps you could try it and then return it if it doesn't suit? Having quick, easy whispernet access to new bestsellers is also a benefit.

Another idea is to try mp3 player + audiobooks -- I tried them once because I can't read in the sun and I needed something to do at the beach (and still be able to watch the kids in the water) - and now I love to listen to books! You could try a simple (inexpensive) mp3 - speech does not require high fidelity - and try a book to see if your husband likes the experience. There are also websites with many free (exlibris?) audio classic books.

I hope this helps - good luck!

P.S. I got an ebook reader also because I have developed a severe allergy to dust and am in the process of donating/re-cycling away my pbook collections. Books are terrible dust-collectors. I only keep reference (cooking, sewing, technical) books. Well...maybe a few others ;-)
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
The image on the screen is updated 60 times per second. Most people don't see it... but it could affect people that are prone to seizures.
I generally notice it when I'm looking at it from the corner of my eyes. But never on my own PDA.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:07 AM   #11
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I can certainly understand the sensitivity to LCD and CRT screens (and fluorescent lights, etc). However, the OP mentioned that her husband is sensitive to LED lighting, too. I was under the impression that LEDs when used as a light source don't actually blink/flash/refresh, but are in fact a steady stream of light (like when used in headlamps and flashlights). However, my efforts to dig up something conclusive online have failed since blinking/flashing LEDs do get used in so many other things. Unfortunately, most LED flashlights/headlamps also incorporate a blinking "emergency" mode, which absolutely would bother your husband.

As much as I am an advocate for technology, I'd say at this point that sticking with pbooks is probably the safest thing to do.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:15 PM   #12
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My husband has seizures and I get migraines from motion/flickering. With the Sony 505 and Kindle, I look away when I turn the page. It gives my eyes a rest and I don't see the flicker that way.

My husband has never used the 505; he prefers paper books, go figure.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:28 PM   #13
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I actually have a slight seizure/ twitching problem with the cause being unknown at the moment. It's usually random though and sometimes flickering can set it off.

I have the Sony Reader 505. I find the easiest way is to just close your eyes when you turn the page. Problem solved since I don't see the flash.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
The image on the screen is updated 60 times per second. Most people don't see it... but it could affect people that are prone to seizures.

BOb
Just to clarify, this refers to the LCD screens being discussed, and NOT to the e-ink display, which does NOT refresh.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:59 PM   #15
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This may be a crazy idea, but have you looked into some sort of sunglasses? I am very sorry you-all have to go thru this.

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