18 August, 2008

The Nerdery: s02e16: On Blue LEDs

Let's start this week off with a little quiz. When buying an expensive piece of electronics with your freshly borrowed "course related costs", do you expect to find;

  1. An Apple-inspired design
  2. Blatant branding to remind you it's not made by Apple
  3. Blue LEDs, which indicate that it's obviously high-tech If you answered C, you deserve a slap, as you're the reason why myself and many others like me (i'll explain) are either;
  4. Voiding warranties by opening up things and replacing the LEDs with a more sensible colour
  5. Putting electrical tape over all the blue LEDs So, for those who don't quite get my rampage, let me explain something. Blue light has a short wavelength, which makes it really hard for your eye to focus on. So, for an ambient light, like the type which alerts me to know my speakers are on, blue light is really bad in terms of overall interface design. It's irritating to the eye. There's a reason why you don't normally see blue lights in car dashboards; it's dangerous, especially for night driving. And yet, over the last few years, consumers have come to expect lots of blue LEDs in their products, because it looks cool. If done correctly, there's nothing wrong with using colour lights. But please, why do you think it's necessary to shine blue light in my eyes when I'm just trying to listen to music? Not to mention, not only does it look "high-tech" to consumers, but marketers have also decided that it sounds high-tech as well. BlueTooth headset anyone? Maybe a Blu-Ray player? When will the madness end! But, then again, most of the tech world is crap, and if it wasn't for the sea of crap we wouldn't have the shining stars. So really, what can one really expect from our generation?