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3D Displays May Be Hazardous To Young Children 386

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-look-at-me-that-way dept.
SchlimpyChicken writes "Turns out 3D television can be inherently dangerous to developing children, and perhaps to adults as well. There's a malaise in children that can prevent full stereopsis (depth perception) from developing, called strabismus or lazy-eye. It is an abnormal alignment of the eyes in which the eyes do not focus on the same object — kind of like when you watch a 3D movie. As a result, depth perception is compromised. Acting on a hunch, the guys over at Audioholics contacted Mark Pesce, who worked with Sega on its VR Headset over 15 years ago — you know, the headset that never made it to market. As it turns out, back then Sega uncovered serious health risks involved with children consuming 3D and quickly buried the reports, and the project. Unfortunately, the same dangers exist in today's 3D, and the electronics, movie, and gaming industries seem to be ignoring the issue. If fully realized, 3D just might affect the vision of millions of children and, according to the latest research, many adults, across the country." The Audioholics article is a good candidate for perusing with Readability — the pseudo-link popups are blinding.
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3D Displays May Be Hazardous To Young Children

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  • by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:33PM (#32705898) Homepage Journal

    WTF is wrong with them!? Why did they bury the findings!

    • by Kitkoan (1719118) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:34PM (#32705908)

      WTF is wrong with them!? Why did they bury the findings!

      I'm guessing to hide the loss of money and man hours from share holders.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:53PM (#32705986) Homepage

        When I research something for my company, and find it has adverse effects, I bury the reports. More specifically, I throw my findings into the project documentation folder, and move on to something else that will work without the problems. Hopefully, nobody will need to look at those reports again. Granted, I'm evaluating software packages, not consumer products, but I'm assuming the concept's the same.

        Why waste time and money making a formal report, announcing it to the world, and generally just scaring people when 99% of the time the problems are eventually solved, anyway?

        • by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:59PM (#32706288) Homepage Journal

          I would hope that, should you come across something that would be harmful like this (and not strictly specific to your product, but a physiological issue) you would at least make sure the appropriate people would know about it. Anonymize it and send it along to a few researchers or something.

          Instead, it got shoved away and forgotten about.

          Good thing this guy remembered!

          I mean, I understand why they would bury it had it actually been released for mass consumption. But this was not the case. There's nothing wrong with saying "Oh, we were going to do this, but when we found out it causes harm we canceled it" - Hell, that's a positive thing to do! It shows forethought and at least the illusion of caring for your customers.

          • I understand why they would bury it had it actually been released for mass consumption

            ...

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:04PM (#32706556) Homepage Journal

            I mean, I understand why they would bury it had it actually been released for mass consumption. But this was not the case.

            Practically the entire consumer electronics industry is counting on 3D to give them a fat, juicy pile of Christmas profits with ongoing dividends into the coming decade. Sony, Toshiba, even Microsoft, Best Buy, Nintendo, every manufacturer of flat screen TVs, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Pixar and every movie studio that's readying 3D releases of their old movies, game developers and on and on have been planning for more than a year for all of us to upgrade our old TVs, displays, DVD players and game systems to the "new 3D". Of course they're going to bury the findings, and if you're any other company, you're already working on counter-studies that are going to show how totally safe 3D actually is for kids.

            Start the countdown: we're going to be hearing in the coming days about how this is all so much worrying over nothing, how in fact 3D is good for children, makes them smarter or something.

            There's no way this entire segment of the market is going to lay down on this one. We're going to hear how this is "junk science" and how it's "controversial" and we'll hear from a steady stream of industry-funded experts telling us that 3D is perfectly safe for kids. How the "nanny state" is going to try to take away your god-given right to 3D and it's all liberal propaganda from people who want to turn back technology. My guess is that some of the same "grass-roots" groups (aka public relations firms and lobbyists) that were so helpful in pointing out how climate change and evolution are junk science will lend a hand on this issue.

            Just watch, you're going to get your 3D one way or the other.

            And by the way, am I the only one who finds this latest incarnation of 3D, even when done well (e.g. "Avatar") is garish and sort of unpleasant, like "low-fat" chocolate mousse made with Simplesse? It might taste good for a second, but after a few minutes you're in for a stomach ache (I mean this aesthetically, of course).

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by PopeRatzo (965947) *

              By the way, I predict that the first articles about how 3D is "perfectly safe" for kids will be in one of the Murdoch publications, I'm guessing the Wall Street Journal, but possibly Fox Business, followed closely by Fox News and the rest of the corporate-owned media.

              Then we'll have comments on Slashdot mentioning any risks from 3D as being "junk science" and how the studies were flawed or outright bogus.

            • by Toonol (1057698) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @03:34AM (#32707554)
              You seem predisposed to accept claims against 3d with little substantiation, which is just as bad.

              The VR headset that study was about functions with a completely different mechanism than most modern 3d systems. In 3d movies, or on the Nintendo 3ds, you are NOT focusing on two different objects. It's no different than looking at a mirror, as another poster pointed out. The study involved a headset with two screens, one for each eye.

              You'll probably claim I'm a shill, rather than admit this study is irrelevant.
              • by tttonyyy (726776) on Monday June 28, 2010 @05:39AM (#32714546) Homepage Journal

                In 3d movies, or on the Nintendo 3ds, you are NOT focusing on two different objects. It's no different than looking at a mirror, as another poster pointed out.

                Actually, it is different. Look at a near object in a mirror and far objects will go out of focus (and you see two of them, but the brain tunes this out). The reverse applies for far objects. 3D TV/film/3ds won't do this. It doesn't matter which part of the image you look at, other z distances within the image will remain in focus, which is not natural.

                The only saving grace of 3D TV and film is that usually you're a good distance from the screen so the effect is minor. But with a Ninty 3DS the 3D screen much closer to the viewer, which may be cause for concern if the reports are to be believed, especially since the device will be popular with developing children.

                (I work in broadcast TV, including 3DTV, and have yet to figure out why anyone would want to watch the news in 3D, but that's a whole other story ;) )

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Hognoxious (631665)

              3D displays give me a headache. And do these things degrade gracefully for people who only have one functioning eye?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DigiShaman (671371)

            There's nothing wrong with saying "Oh, we were going to do this, but when we found out it causes harm we canceled it"

            Just a guess, but I imagine it's because they don't want to officially taint the technology to the public. This way, should they find the problem and/or revise the 3D technology to solve the issue, they would not have to back pedal to an already leery would-be consumer. Also, it would set themselves up for a major lawsuit should the revised technology continue to cause harm. Saying "we though

          • by thomst (1640045) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @04:04AM (#32707656) Homepage

            Good thing this guy remembered!

            "This guy" is Mark Pesce [markpesce.com], was the co-creator of VRML, and has developed and taught courses in 3D development at the university level for most of a couple of decades now.

            • Mark has been talking about "binocular dysphoria" [wikipedia.org] for some time now (e.g. Wired article [wired.com] from 1994). Thing is, it seems nobody else is.

              The effect certainly exists (I've experienced it myself, though only for a matter of seconds), but it remains doubtful as to how significant it is. There are various medical studies that confirm the resiliency of human vision to this type of effect, but it seems no studies have been found or cited that show any lasting problems (with the possible exception of this informal co

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Icarus1919 (802533)
      Hey, you must be new here. This is what corporations do. They can't get in trouble for stuff no one knows about. Parents won't sue Sega for a malady that they didn't know had been inflicted on their kids.
      • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

        More corporation-bashing.

        Burying inconvenient/embarrassing data is something PEOPLE do.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by negRo_slim (636783)

          More corporation-bashing.

          Burying inconvenient/embarrassing data is something PEOPLE do.

          But people, unlike corporations, have ethics and a sense of morality to guide them.

          • by decoy256 (1335427)

            But corporations are made of people and somewhere along the chain, someone knows that what is going on is wrong/bad/harmful/etc... Corporations like to PRETEND that they didn't know, but someone always knows.

            • The problem is that cooperation give these individuals the power to harm millions. No single person can put into production a car that kills thousands due to a design flaw, a company can though.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by John Hasler (414242)

            > But people, unlike corporations, have ethics and a sense of morality to
            > guide them.

            That's true. A piece of paper has no ethics or morality. It also lacks the abilty to make any decisions or carry out any actions. People do that.

      • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:38PM (#32706210) Homepage
        Parents won't sue Sega for a malady that they didn't know had been inflicted on their kids.

        Parents would sue Sega for releasing a product that they didn't release?
      • by sjames (1099)

        Except no harm was inflicted. They actually did the right thing and killed the product before it ever went out.

    • by DWMorse (1816016) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:37PM (#32705926) Homepage

      Of course they buried the reports. Sega didn't want the PR of "We make headsets that screw up kids' eyes lol"

      What they DID do right, is never release the product. That was the first right thing to do. It would've been nice if some non-Sega-related entity were to release the reports, but that's secondary. It's by FAR a safe bet that no company today would ever do the same. The reports would still get buried, and non-disclosure agreements would be plastered on every researcher, but the product would be on every freakin' shelf from Wal-Mart to Best Buy.

      • It's by FAR a safe bet that no company today would ever do the same.

        Really? You think companies have changed so much since then? I'm going to guess that some would, and some wouldn't. A poster above pointed out that Nintendo has talked openly about the very dangers of 3d we are talking about here.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:41PM (#32705942)

      Because they probably already had a few prototypes out and had a few people using them. Now, if a study comes along that tells that there is a serious health risk associated, the study gets buried. Why? Because it's one thing to not know something is dangerous that you subject people to, but it's a completely different matter if you actually know. Worse, the people you subjected to the experience will know, and they will contact a lawyer to see if they can squeeze some money out of you somehow.

      Instead of chewing Sega out, we should praise them. In this day and age, and if it had been a certain other 4 Letter company, I am not so sure if such a report would have resulted in sinking a probably incredibly expensive project. Instead, I would expect them to bury the report AND release the item. Only to later "discover" that there might be some hazards attached (read: as soon as someone couldn't handle his conscience anymore and blabbed) and "immediately" cease production. By then the product will have recovered its development cost, so at least no loss incurs.

      Yes, that's what I'm fully expecting from a company this day.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mysidia (191772)

        Worse, the people you subjected to the experience will know, and they will contact a lawyer to see if they can squeeze some money out of you somehow.

        They will probably do this even if you didn't know about it, class action.

        After all, your product still caused them the same amount of harm, they are entitled to recover the same reparation as they would be if you knew about it.

        And your company was negligent in failing to conduct the most basic of safety studies to discover a widespread problem with the p

      • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

        but it's a completely different matter if you actually know.

        Not really, strict liability trumps the "state-of-the-art" defense.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't worry, they have top men working on it now.

      Top men.

    • Money. SURPRISE! Cooperation do unethical things when there's money to be made from it (or losses to be avoided)! News at 11.

      Someone says to a cooperation "I have medical studies that prove your product to be dangerous". The company then has two options:
      A) Do the ethical thing and kill the product.
      B) Hide the report and make money.

      Seriously, if this surprises anyone then they deserve to be shot. Shit like this is why we need more regulation of business when it comes to ethics. EVERY company acts unethi
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        They did kill the product though, didn't they? At least this is what I'm operating on, here. If they kept it going then my question is stupid.

  • Not too much to ask for a journal article from a reputable journal or an article from well know science print.
    • I call bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nbauman (624611) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @12:59AM (#32707040) Homepage Journal

      I'm interested in strabismus because my father and my sister had it. I've been tested for it myself by optometrists with fancy equipment that required me to orient my eyes in different directions, sort of what TFA describes.

      I read that whole article and the links and I couldn't find a single thing to support their claim that 3D video causes strabismus.

      It looks like the whole article is based on Mark Pesce telling Wayde Robson that he doesn't have time to be interviewed for 2 weeks.

      The journalism that Robson practices is a bit too familiar and colloquial for my tastes. It's one thing to read an article that sounds like a guy giving you the straight dope after a few drinks in a bar. It's another thing to read an article that sounds like a "journalist" who doesn't know what "fact checking" means.

      He quotes SRI as saying, “You Cannot Give This To Kids!” but that's fiction. SRI would never use words like that in a scientific report. I don't suppose it occurred to Robson to call SRI and find out if they actually did a report like that. Or to call an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

      "Children under seven are at risk of strabismus – period." Another fiction.

      Let's go back to basic scientific method. If you actually found children under seven who didn't have strabismus, then used 3D video, and developed strabismus, you could raise the reasonable hypothesis that 3D video caused strabismus. I've never heard of strabismus being acquired like that, but I'm open to new evidence.

      Nothing in TFA indicates that anybody found a single child under seven who had strabismus from 3D video. So there's no justification for making that statement. It's all speculation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:44PM (#32705954)

    Ten years prior to that, Sega actually did release a 3D headset for the Master System.

  • Whenever a new technology pops up, there come the people that warn about the dangers coming from it and how the world as we know it will end. This was the same with books, trains, cars, radio television, internet, cell phones.... i am sure there are plenty more... As long as you or your child doesn't consume 3d television 24/7 i am sure you'll be fine.
    • by Sethumme (1313479)
      Even more to the point, the health risk for stereopsis from 3D is, according to the article, caused by the two separate images projected at each eye. Not all 3D technology works that way. Popular 3D in film and television use glasses, but 3D images can be projected or simulated without any eye-wear. I'm not sure about the effects of all competing 3D technologies currently being considered for consumer televisions, but true holographic video does not suffer from that problem.
  • by Dan East (318230) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:48PM (#32705966) Homepage Journal

    "Daddy, it's my turn! Let me play my 3DS!"

    "Son, for the hundredth time, it will be your turn once your stereopsis is fully developed!"

    "Mommmmmy!"

    • by Weedhopper (168515) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:55PM (#32706266)

      The first time my kid runs to Mommy because Daddy said no is when Daddy will hit for distance. When Junior comes down from orbit, he's not going to pull that shit ever again. Or will be more deceptive and conniving about it, which I fully approve of.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by scromp (148280)

        Don't hit your kids.

        • by jamesh (87723)

          Don't hit your kids.

          I don't like the idea of smacking kids, but you can't just tell people not to smack their kids without teaching them how to replace it with something else at least as effective, otherwise you'll end up with a generation of self centered teens with no respect for anyone.

      • by jamesh (87723) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:58PM (#32706526)

        The first time my kid runs to Mommy because Daddy said no is when Daddy will hit for distance.

        Except you'll miss due to your underdeveloped stereopsis from too much 3D media watching.

  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:50PM (#32705974)

    Auto-stereoscopic displays don't require glasses and wouldn't cause this sort of issue if I'm understanding the vision problems correctly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autostereoscopy [wikipedia.org]

    • by Anonyme Connard (218057) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:18PM (#32706098)

      The problem with children is that they still have to train their brain to match eyes convergence and focus, while with 3D displays the focus is always on the screen, whatever the technology.
      So no, auto-stereoscopic displays such as the coming Nintendo 3DS should not be used by children below the age of 2 or 3.
      And for adults, it is a cause of eyes fatigue.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tgibbs (83782)

        If seeing in 3D depending matching convergence and focus, then 3D displays wouldn't work for anybody, nor would binoculars. The reason 3D displays, binoculars, and older 3D technologies like the stereoscope [wikipedia.org] do work is that your brain identifies similar elements in the field of view, and assumes that they are different perspectives on the same object. Focus provides only minor hints, and only for objects up close. This is why your depth perception can easily be confused by repetitive patterns like chain link

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by grumbel (592662)

      The issue should apply to pretty much all normal 3D tech, as all they do is simply get different images to each eye. It doesn't really matter how exactly they do that, as the core problem is that your eyes have to focus on the 2D screen, while you are looking at objects in front or behind the screen. Thus where your focus is and where it should be are different places.

      Not sure about holograms, they work a little different, so they might be fine. But as we don't have interactive holographic displays thats a

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DJRumpy (1345787)

        Doesn't this issue involve the eyes not focusing properly o a point in space? Typically the path of the eyes meet at a point of focus in the distance with both eyes looking at the same 'point', rather than at an 'infinite' distance. Children with this issue are unable to focus both eyes on the same 'point' in space.

        If you are using an auto-stereoscopic display, they are focusing on the same point in space, but each eye is presented with a slightly different image, which tricks the brain into seeing 'depth'.

        • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:56PM (#32706274) Homepage

          Doesn't this issue involve the eyes not focusing properly o a point in space?

          The issue is that you are looking at an 3D object say 1 meter in front of you, while you are focusing on a screen that might be 3 meter away from you. Thus your depth perception gets a little confused and possibly permanently damaged when you do that stuff to much while your brain is still developing. This issue is exactly the same when you use an auto stereoscopic display instead of shuttle glasses or polarized lenses. The offset between both images is exactly the same as on any other type of 3D screen, as thats where the 3D comes from.

          • by DJRumpy (1345787)

            I disagree. The focal point may appear to be 1 meter behind or in front of the screen, but the actual focal point hasn't change off of the 2d plane it's represented on (your tv screen). The same is not true of the older 3D technology that showed a visible offset without glasses on.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Cochonou (576531)
              Well, I don't really see what would be the difference between autosteroscopy and glasses stereoscopy for the matter. In both cases, you focus on the screen, and in both cases, your eyes are presented two different images with an offset.
              The only difference is the channel separation method: glasses are filtering out the images for the left and right eye, while for autostereoscopy it is a grazing that directs left and right images to your left and right eyes.
              An interesting difference though, is that you are
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by jensen404 (717086)
            The aperture of the human pupil is quite small, so the difference in focusing between 20ft and infinity is probably negligible. (If you focus your eyes on something extremely far away and look at something 20ft away, it won't look very blurry) On screen that is closer to you, such as with the 3DS, this may be a bigger issue, but the small size of the screen may help.
  • by raving griff (1157645) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:50PM (#32705976)
    In this interview [kotaku.com] the president of Nintendo discusses the fact that the 3D affect can be dangerous to developing children. Considering the fact that Nintendo began placing health and safety warnings at the beginning of all of their games in 2004 and has included such a message on the startup screens of both the DS and Wii, we can assume that they will make an effort to warn parents and children of the dangers any time the product is turned on.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hansamurai (907719)

      Now that I'm reading this I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo included some kind of parental control that disabled 3D altogether on the 3DS, even if the slider was adjusted.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        Yes because we all know that when warning labels are on everything, and it's the same warning label, that they're taken seriously.... not even close.

        Unless the effect is immediate (even mild) I cannot imagine a problem like this turning out well.

  • by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:51PM (#32705980) Homepage

    I went to a talk last week given by BBC R&D with the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Royal Television Society. The problem with children was raised, however research that is currently being conducted and is finding that children adapt better than adults. We will have to wait until they are finished and peer reviewed however.

    What is more worrying is driving a car after watching 3D TV. You eyes focus on a 40 inch screen 3-4m away, however you brain thinks you are looking in the distance because the image is converging at a different point (not 3m away). This isn't really a problem in the cinema as the distance to the screen is far greater, as at 50 feet your eyes are focused at almost infinity. Stepping out of the living room and in to a car can easily have an effect on judgement of distance, and give you headaches.

    Headaches, incidentally, is a problem with all consumer home 3D TVs. They will give the vast majority of people a headache after 10 minutes. That's a fact!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Oh, and "3D TVs" are not 3D, they are stereoscopic TVs.

      R2D2 has a 3D TV with his hologram projector. That for a 3D TV is what we all aspire to. :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by xianthax (963773)

      They will give the vast majority of people a headache after 10 minutes. That's a fact!

      I hope someone else gets the irony in this line.

      A subjectively measured number of people have problem X and "thats a fact"

      Really? I had no idea.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      I went to a talk last week given by BBC R&D with the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Royal Television Society. The problem with children was raised, however research that is currently being conducted and is finding that children adapt better than adults. We will have to wait until they are finished and peer reviewed however.

      What is more worrying is driving a car after watching 3D TV. You eyes focus on a 40 inch screen 3-4m away, however you brain thinks you are looking in the distance because the image is converging at a different point (not 3m away). This isn't really a problem in the cinema as the distance to the screen is far greater, as at 50 feet your eyes are focused at almost infinity. Stepping out of the living room and in to a car can easily have an effect on judgement of distance, and give you headaches.

      Headaches, incidentally, is a problem with all consumer home 3D TVs. They will give the vast majority of people a headache after 10 minutes. That's a fact!

      Um, my 40" hdtv is like 3 feet away.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MikeFM (12491)
      I have a similar effect when I change from my glasses to my contacts or vice versatile. It's annoying but hardly critical. It's actually worse walking than driving as you worry a lot more about depth perception when walking I think.

      More of an issue is that recently I'm having what the doctor is calling ADHD, which I'm a bit doubtful about, where I can't process the visual information I'm receiving fast enough. If someone talks to me it blurs my vision and gives me headaches. It even helps to close one eye.
      • I have strabismus. In my case, I had it as a child, corrected by surgery, but a car wreck at age 19 damaged my eye, and it got worse over time (20 years almost now). Much worse when driving. My glasses need high levels prism to adjust. When I had a pair without it, I often had to drive cyclops (close one eye) so I didn't see two sets of cars. I don't have this problem walking. Probably because it was so bad that near items appeared blurred but distance objects were completely separate items, though on
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          When this happens young enough, your brain shuts down input from the more ghosty eye. My mother has that issue and can't even read the E at the top in the doctor's office with her bad eye. They correct it anyway, but her brain doesn't listen to that eye.
  • I know nothing about this other than my own inability to focus on different points without the aid of a stereoptic viewer. Many people can do this, but I cannot.

    It would seem that anything which hinders the development of the ability to focus both eyes on a single point could be designed to help train one's eyes to do this.

    Hopefully, if this has not already been researched, this issue being in the news will catch the interest of a PhD student with the proper background to look into it.

    -Todd

  • On the other hand... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wrook (134116) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:57PM (#32706006) Homepage

    I used to have fairly poor vision, but equally in both eyes (-4.25 in both). As I've gotten older, my vision has improved, but more in the right eye than the left (-2.25 left, -0.50 right). I often read at night and never use my glasses. With my vision being somewhat different between the eyes I started getting lazy and only reading with my right eye. Eventually I stopped using binocular vision at all.

    Then a few months ago I started to get interesting in stereoscopic photography using the "crossed eyes" method. After about a week of looking at pictures like this, suddenly I was using my binocular vision while reading again. And overall my depth perception improved. I suspect it has something to do with having better focus control of my eyes. So I'm not sure that I buy this "3D is bad for your vision" thing. Actual studies showing the effects would be interesting, but this seems to be just speculation.

    • by JimboFBX (1097277)
      I was about ready to completely agree with you, since as a kid I use to look at random-dot stereograms and I have fantastic vision despite the fact the 4 other members of my family all need glasses. However, I then realized that 3d glasses are a trainer to get your brain to see 3d as opposed to something you control your muscles to do, so I don't think its quite the same. On the other hand, when looking at a 3d image you see a ghost of something in the fore-ground if you are looking at the background until
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:02PM (#32706028)

    But will it keep them off my lawn . . . ?

  • by johnhp (1807490) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:05PM (#32706046)
    So Nintendo rolls out the best thing in handheld games since the first Gameboy, and suddenly 3D is bad for children. What a coincidence. I suspect that this is just an underhanded PR attack against Nintendo by one of its rivals.
    • So Nintendo rolls out the best thing in handheld games since the first Gameboy, and suddenly 3D is bad for children. What a coincidence. I suspect that this is just an underhanded PR attack against Nintendo by one of its rivals.

      That is highly doubtful, considering Sony already offers 3D Bravia televisions [sonystyle.com], 3D Bluray players [sonystyle.com], and a firmware upgrade [playstation.com] to enable 3D on the Playstation.

  • I had this kind of issue when I was a kid and correcting it involved the difficult effort of playing video games wearing special glasses and laying on my back starring at a ball on a rope as it circled my head. Horrible thing to experience. Like having your eyes gouged out with a rusty spork. Or not..
  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:32PM (#32706182)

    Now when I watch 3D porn I really will go blind

  • Magic Eye? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dakameleon (1126377) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:21PM (#32706390)

    So wait, does this mean Magic Eye pictures (remember those?) can make you go blind too?

    And while we're at it, is it really such a great idea that almost all the kids movies these days are pushed in 3D?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:35PM (#32706432)

    The ayes react to the proximity of an object in two ways

    The first in convergence : both eyes make a slight angle in theay a telemeter would do. this is bound to the distance or at least the PERCEIVED distance when each eye has a different image.

    The second is focus : if the object is 50cm away, the focus of each eye is set to 50cm.

    In normal vision, these two actions are synchronzed, and many years of living with it has helped us to do so.

    Unfortunately, in 3D vision, convergence asks something while focus asks for something else (you see the object at 50cm, but each eye should focus on the screen nevertheless), which is the reason why this false 3D is far from perfect and can be just as painful as eye convergence reeducation. In fact, it is ye convergence DISeducation.

  • Oh NO! (Score:2, Funny)

    by 0m3gaMan (745008)

    All those Viewmaster slides!

  • by cowtamer (311087) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:44PM (#32706482) Journal

    I believe most 3D will "make your eyes hurt" for extended use until they solve vergence [wikipedia.org] and accomodation [wikipedia.org] issues. While there is some work (e.g., accommodation display at Fraunhofer [fraunhofer.de] and some work at HITlab [washington.edu]) to resolve these, I'm afraid we might not see the results of these at Best Buy anytime soon.

    Having demonstrated 3D technology to hundreds of adults and kids, my experience has been that kids below 12 _generally_ don't seem to "get" 3D. Perhaps it's their visual system, or perhaps it's because the inter-pupillary-distance (IPD) is wrong on most systems for how far apart their eyes are. I don't this they'll be missing out on too much if they skip out on the 3D games until their visual systems catch up with the tech.

    All this aside, I'm personally thrilled that all this 3D technology is becoming mainstream, but I wouldn't (and wouldn't recommend for anyone to) use the 3D technology for more than a couple of hours a day at most. Still, the fear-mongering articles and the 3-D bashing that accompanies them (probably by people who can't see the 3D effect) kind of ticks me off..

  • ...may be hazardous to your health.

    Apparently, EVERY damn thing that is fun,entertaining, or otherwise distracts us from reality is DANGEROUS.

    And you know what? I'm pushing 60 and simply don't give a shit if it kills me anymore.

    So, I think I'll pour a drink of good bourbon, load the bong, and watch 3D movies until my eyes explode or the Surgeon General kicks in my door...whichever comes first.

  • No? It's the same thinking. Let's all prohibit a technology because it causes trouble when abused by a tiny, tiny minority of irresponsible people.

  • When you watch a 3D movie, your eyes are focusing just fine, they are focusing on the screen.

    The human visual system conditions that are present in the movie theater are different that real life, since when you are focusing on the screen your eyes are verging in on objects that are not located in what is called the Zero Paralax Position, (ZPS) which is essentially the screen plane.

    There is a zone of confort where the decoupling of vergence and focus is ok and there will not be any side effects.

    This is achie

  • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Sunday June 27, 2010 @02:53AM (#32707434) Journal

    When I was a kid, I spent hours looking into a View Master [wikipedia.org], studying the details in those tiny little slides.

    I also had toys made entirely out of lead. Mercury was cool. And I played with real electricity, complete with real shocks. And, once or twice, I nearly set my bedroom on fire.

    I'm still here. And I'm even healthy.

    Here's a big *shrug* to everything related to this story.

  • Very concerned (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cloakedpegasus (1761746) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @06:11AM (#32708018)
    I'm very surprised to see this article on the front page of slashdot. About 7-8 months ago, I was in the market for a new television: a panasonic plasma. Since I knew they were coming out with new 3d tv's, I decided to do some research on them. Suddenly, I started to think about all the times when I had gone to the movies and watched them on 3d, only to come out disappointed because of the headache I had acquired. I poured through hours worth of webpages and learned how we are able to see the 3d effects created in the theaters. Its kind of ridiculous to think that I have not seen any widespread front page news coverage on how your eyes are forced to move unnaturally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binocular_dysphoria [wikipedia.org] It has to do with how our eyes see things. 3d makes our eyes do unnatural things. I think its safe to say that children's bodies are constantly developing, and they are more susceptible to damage than adults are. If you really want to read about how these things work, I found a great link. http://www.journalofvision.org/content/8/3/33.full [journalofvision.org] I like my children, so personally I'd rather be safe than sorry.

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