App deactivates phone screen if close

A new app that automatically locks a screen when your child goes too close to it has been devised.

The Samsung Safety Screen app can understand when the child goes too close to the screen and enables a pop out that temporarily takes control of the screen.

The device will not allow the user to perform any other action, not even swipe up or down the pop out or deactivate the functionality, unless the user backs out to a safe distance.

It is not so common for adults to hold their reading devices, be it an iPad, Tablet or a smartphone too close to their face. But that is not the case with kids. Parents have constantly complained of children holding the Tablets too close to their eyes or siting too close to a television screen to watch their favorite cartoon.

Developed by Samsung Gulf Electronics, the app is available only on Android devices and can be password-enabled by parents.

"The application uses advanced facial recognition software, a friendly animation pops up shutting down the screen when the device is held too close the eye, unlocking only once the device is held at the minimum recommended safe distance," says Fuad Khatib, Digital Marketing Manager at Samsung Gulf Electronics.

In this video, Khatib explains why Samsung developed this application.

Quoting a study conducted by Vision Council, Khatib says constantly holding the screen too close to the eye can increase the chances of myopia that scientists attribute to a mix of genetic and environmental factors, including increasing near-range activities such as the use of digital devices, and decreasing exposure to natural light through outdoor activities. Digital eye strain can also affect children and teens, whose eyes may fatigue after long periods of use.

According to Tarek Sabbagh, Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, “The usage of devices such as mobiles and Tablets is increasing fast, within all age groups, from entertainment such as watching movies, to gaming and lately education where many schools started using the tablets in their curriculum. We noticed that children spend extended time using their devices, holding them too close to their eyes, which is not ideal and might cause damage to their sight.”

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