July 23, 2024

Winter has descended upon the Northern Hemisphere, including the headquarters of Opera in Oslo. Further north, polar night kicks off this evening in Narvik, Norway, blanketing the area in a deep blue until January. Days spent in cold and darkness lead many people to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which lowers their mood and causes sluggishness.

Studies have shown that poor video quality is linked to negative emotional responses in viewers – not the sort of feelings with which we want to saddle ourselves during an already trying time. That’s why, just in time for the short days of December, Opera has improved its 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 users can now control the extent of video enhancement within Settings. Once they configure the video quality to their specifications, users can – by hovering on the Lucid Mode button on any video – click a slider that allows them to see the crispness boosted in real time.

“With many people already suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, we don’t want them to also have to deal with SDD – Standard Definition Disorder,” said Joanna Czajka, product director at Opera.

First identified by Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal in 1984, SAD 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.

“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, Opera has also created a special, luminous Sunrise wallpaper, designed to combat the winter blues by showering users 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 users can find more tips on how to beat the winter sadness.

Enabling Lucid Mode

The Lucid Mode icon appears as soon as a user accesses a website with video content. It can be activated by clicking the icon with three stars. The improvements to the video can be monitored 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 access the new set of wallpapers, users need to go to Easy Setup and click on “get more wallpapers,” and then look for the “Sunrise” and “Sunrise in Motion” wallpapers by Opera.

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.

To download Opera, click here. To view the Opera Lucid Mode video, click here.

About Opera

Opera is a user-centric and innovative software company focused on enabling the best possible internet browsing experience across all devices. Hundreds of millions use Opera web browsers for their unique and secure features on their mobile phones and desktop computers. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Opera is a public company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol “OPRA.” Download the Opera web browsers and access other Opera products from opera.com. Learn more about Opera at investor.opera.com  and on X @InvestorOpera.