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3D Hurts Your Eyes, Is It Here To Stay?

by Emily Price | July 31, 2011July 31, 2011 2:00 pm PDT

I’ve been pretty against this whole 3D thing from the start. Don’t get me wrong – I think 3D movies are great (I just saw Harry Potter at my local IMAX last weekend), but the whole move to 3D on our televisions at home and on our phones I think is pretty bonkers.

Glasses-free 3D on phones (in my opinion) looks like those hologram stickers I used to buy out of vending machines back in the day, and isn’t anything I would want to look at for any period of time….and every glasses-free 3D TV I’ve seen has been just plain awful.

Am I alone?
This past week Nintendo slashed the price of its 3D gaming system, bringing the price of the 3DS from $249 to just $169. Customers who had purchased the system reported eye-strain when using the device for a prolonged period time – which at least contributed to, if was not the sole reason for the device’s poor sales.

Uncomfortable
A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley found that these 3D displays hurt not only your eyes, but also your brain. Because your eyes are constantly adjusting to the distance of the physical screen from your eyes, and the content- which can cause both your eyes and your brain some discomfort.

“When watching stereo 3D displays, the eyes must focus — that is, accommodate — to the distance of the screen because that’s where the light comes from. At the same time, the eyes must converge to the distance of the stereo content, which may be in front of or behind the screen.”

But it’s cool…
This weekend I went to a friend’s birthday party. A few weeks ago my friend Robert who was at the party had picked up a EVO 3D. He showed it to me the day he bought it, and at the time we had a huge conversation about how crappy phone 3D was. He had made the purchase because he wanted the latest EVO, and had plans to keep the 3D functionality turned off most of not all of the time.

A few weeks later at this party? He was showing off the phone’s 3D capabilities to the masses. We talked about it again, and what was his least favorite feature of the phone when he bought it was now one of his most favorite. He often takes 3D pictures now, with the 3D photos in his phone’s gallery now far exceeding the 2D ones.

He is at least one 3D hater converted.

Is 3D here to stay?
I’m interested in hearing what you guys think. Do you think 3D is something we’re going to see come to all televisions and phones, or is it a gimmicky “cool” thing that will disappear in a few years?


Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...

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