At age 64 I can still clearly remember the 1950s 3D movie experience with cheap plastic red and cyan colored glasses. Even using high-quality LCD shutter glasses still does not produce an accurate 3D imaging for some people. The reason is simple and will never be totally overcome using a 2D viewing screen. The spacing of the eyes for each individual is slightly different, while the actual 3D camera lens imaging is at fixed "average" spacing. My interpupil spacing is on the very low-side of average, and every 3D movie I have seen makes me feel like I'm slightly cross-eyed....Not very pleasurable!
Until a cost-effective method is developed to project 3D images in a real "3D space" using something like a laser projector, this problem will be with us. I also believe this in large part is the primary (subconscious?)reason why people will not be running out in droves to buy new 3D TVs, etc.
Whether it causes permanent eye and/or brain damage I have no idea, but for some of us the current 3D technologies will not be a very pleasurable long-term experience.
and at the end of the day, what 3D adds to the party just isn't all that compelling. I saw Avatar in 3D at the theater. Nice movie, but the 3D part was a yawn. The right comparison, I think, is 3dTV vs. quad audio of the 1980's -- just wasn't worth it.
The New York Times did an article back in February about how Avatar in 3D caused symptoms of motion sickness is many viewers. The explanation given was that 3D films cause the viewer's eyes to make unnatural movements which become stressful after a period of time.
Perhaps different people are more or less susceptible to this effect, as seems to be the case with reading in a moving car -- that activity never bothers me, but I have known many people who can't do it for long without feeling sick.
This issue is definitely something that 3D TV hardware vendors and content creators should be concerned with as they roll out this next-big-thing in TV entertainment.
Could it possibly be an attempt to delay an emerging market that Samsung entered early, with a poorly performing implementation? All reviewers of the Samsung LCD 3D TV product have complained about L/R eye view crosstalk.
Colin, I think your drawing a parallel to the experience of early days of VR is very astute and interesting.
But I also think that we may be missing a point if we just dwell on the hardware side of the issue. A lot can be done when one is creating 3-D content and post processing it -- in order to prevent the potential 3-D disastar, according to Insight Media's Chris Chinnock.
See the follow-up story at:
Samsung's health hazard warning reminds me of the fledgling virtual reality (VR) market of the late 1980s that consumers revolted against after medical experts hinted that head-mounted displays (HMDs) could encourage "lazy eye" in youngsters. Wearing 3D glasses is not as invasive as an HMD, but the old "lazy eye" scare is at least one reason that 3D TV vendors still warn adults today that their kids are at the most risk. Regarding the 3D movie craze, I have several friends who have been made nauseous by watching a 3D movie at the cinema--that's after just two hours viewing. With 3D TVs in the home, there is no way to regulate how much or under what conditions people watch. I suggest that 3D TV vendors start preparing their defense against lawsuits alleging all sorts of aches, pains and worse, caused by 3D TV. I suspect that legal prep-work against such lawsuits is Samsung's reason for posting this health warning at this time.