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London Olympics Logo Triggers Seizure Concern

Reminiscent of the infamous 1997 episode of the cartoon "Pokémon" that was blamed for epileptic seizures among more than 650 viewers in Japan, a British a vision technology company is warning broadcasters that an animated version of the London 2012 Olympics logo can trigger episodes of photosensitive epilepsy in some viewers.

The new logo — which has drawn public scorn for its design — was introduced in early June. It features flashing and moving elements that Cambridge Research Systems says violate guidelines on flashing and regular patterns regulated by U.K. broadcast regulatory agency Ofcom.

According to Cambridge Research Systems, when the flashing logo was shown on television and the Web this week, it triggered "the largest number of TV induced epileptic seizures ever seen in the U.K." News reports estimated that up to 25 people were affected with epileptic fits, vomiting, and migraines.

In evaluating the flashing animation, Cambridge Research Systems used its Harding Flash and Pattern Analyser, which found that the video contravened the Ofcom guidelines on at least 126 frames.

"This analysis clearly shows the risk factor was off the scale," said Tom Robson, company CEO.

London 2012, which commissioned the design, removed the animated logo and says it will be re-designed.