About The Harding Test
The Harding Flash and Pattern Analyser is based on research by Professor Graham Harding and was developed by Cambridge Research Systems to analyse video for flashing and patterns which can cause seizures in epilepsy sufferers. Television programmes in various countries including the UK and Japan now have to pass this test prior to being broadcast in order to comply with Ofcom (ITU) guidelines. Should material fail, it needs to be edited to correct these failures and re-tested in its entirety before a 'Passed' certificate can be issued.
Photosensitive epilepsy affects approximately one in four thousand people and is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold regular patterns, or regular moving patterns. In 1993, an advert for 'Pot Noodles' induced seizures in 3 people, leading to the ITC introducing these guidelines. Similarly, in Japan during 1997, an episode of the children's cartoon 'Pokemon' triggered over 750 admissions to hospital leading to the episode being banned from television worldwide.
In January 2012, a UK television commercial for car manufacturer Citroen resulted in a number complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority and caused several viewers to have epileptic seizures. This led to a change in the Harding algorithms and new guidelines were introduced to ensure that all commercials must now be tested with the latest version of the Harding Flash and Pattern analyser.
Many broadcasters now require a certificate with video submission. If you need your video to be tested, or have a video that has failed the test and would like us to correct it for you please call us or use the 'Test A Video' link.