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3D Hurts Your Eyes 244

sajjadG writes "After experimenting on 24 adults, a research team at the University of California, Berkeley has determined that viewing content on a stereo 3D display hurts your eyes and your brain. This can supposedly cause visual discomfort, fatigue, and headaches According to the article, 3D content viewed over a short distance (like with desktops and smartphones) is more visually uncomfortable when the stereo content is placed in front of the screen. In a movie theater, it's the opposite: Stereo content that is placed behind the screen causes more discomfort than scenes that jump out at you. With the explosion of 3D-capable gadgetry such as televisions and mobile phones, understanding just what this kind of technology is doing to our bodies may help us better use it in the future. The only problem is that technology tends to far outpace research, and until we get a better handle on its effects, we're more or less walking blindly into a 3D world."
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3D Hurts Your Eyes

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  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @10:41AM (#36856538) Homepage

    No kidding ... I have seen two movies in 3D, and will never see another. I had eye strain and a headache for several hours after.

    I am not paying more to see the movie if it hurts, but, given that everybody else seems to like it, I question how long before I have no option but 3D.

  • Re:Not 3D (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @10:57AM (#36856670)

    That's because it's not 3D; at best, it's 2½D. The back side of the objects are not projected. There are true 3D projectors that create objects that are viewable from all sides (without special glasses). I call them 3D-in-a-box. You can stand in front of it and see things in 3D while somebody else can stand on the other side of the projector and see the other side of the objects (in 3D).

    I wished they stop lying by calling it as 3D but that's not likely to happen. :(

    Worse than that, the 'movement' you see on the big screen is just an illusion achieved by displaying still pictures fast enough that the brain is fooled into thinking it is seeing real movement.

    And even worse still, I watched a '2D' movie the other day and one object actually moved behind another. That's not 2D. That's not even close.

    Sarcasm aside :) I wonder if the 2D stuff we've been watching for the last 100 years or so has any negative effect on the eyes or the brain? Rapidly showing still pictures and showing an image that the brain thinks ought to be 3D but is flat....

  • []

    the source of the discomfort is that millions of years of simian and primate eye evolution has created an eye that focuses and converges in parallel

    look at a mountain, and your eyes are pointed nearly straight out, and are focused wide

    look at a book, and your eyes are slightly cross-eyed, and are focused close in

    but, for million of years, this focus and this convergence has always been in parallel. millions of years of our ancestors have never had the need for eyes that, for example, cross in, but focus wide, or point straight, but focus close in. 3D expects our eyes, to, for the first time ever, or, since tens of millions of years ago, take your pick, to work in this unnatural way, unnatural for primates

    much like blind cave fish or flightless birds: if the function is not needed, the ability atrophies. of course, BEFORE binocular vision, animals with eyes on either side of their head, for example herbivores and ungulates and certain primitive carnivores, can certainly focus, converge, and even point in independent ways. look at a chameleon: its eyes are pretty much independent entities neurologically and physiologically

    but this has not been the case, since before even our distant lemur-like ancestors really started working binocular vision, for our bloodline to have eyes that focus and converge on different tracks. we simply can't do it any more without stress and pain. so this is the source of the discomfort with 3D technology, physically and mentally

    there is also some concern that very young eyes, that are still developing, can actually be permanently harmed by 3D

  • by bmacs27 ( 1314285 ) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @12:27PM (#36857276)
    Yea, I'm getting annoyed at these posts. What's worse is that the summary doesn't seem to understand the concept of dioptric distances. At a movie theatre, with the distance you are sitting from the screen (assuming a few rows back) you could basically never make a stimulus with a dioptric distance different from that of the screen by simulating objects behind the screen. You are already basically focussed at infinity. I know the authors well, and have conversed with them a number of times about this study. In fact, an alumnus of that lab is currently in our lab. This was a terribly written synopsis.
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @12:52PM (#36857468)

    I have seen two movies in 3D, and will never see another. I had eye strain and a headache for several hours after

    I've seen a few of them myself, because for some reason I kept going back thinking that I might like it on a better movie... or something like that. After seeing Avatar, I won't go back to another 3D showing but not because it gives me a headache or makes me uncomfortable (though it does, to an extent), but because the false focusing and perspective cause me to miss things.

    It's one thing to watch a film: you stare at the screen for two or three hours straight, letting your eyes and ears get lost in the sights and sounds while your brain works on understanding the characters and the story. With 3D, I inadvertently spend so much time thinking about what I'm supposed to be looking at that I miss visual or plot elements.

    Just my two cents, of course.

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