Can 3D Actually Be Hazardous to Your Health?

Can 3D Actually Be Hazardous to Your Health?

Anthony Nguyen
Jun 28, 2010

3D seems to be all the rage these days, but the truth is that prolonged viewing of 3D video may be even more harmful than the consumer electronics industry wants you to know. As soon as Nintendo unveiled its 3DS portable gaming console this year, they quickly followed-up with a statement about dangers to children. Samsung shows us a line of 3D HDTVs, then hits us with a warning about potential health risks. We get dizzy enough watching Avatar in 3D on the big screen - could inviting 3D into our homes a bad thing?

According to some optometrists and research done by Wayde Robson from Audioholics A/V magazine, there might in fact be a connection to health risk and 3D media.

The biggest argument is the development of depth perception, or stereopsis, which allows people to visually perceive what is closer and farther away from us. It's what allows us to reach for our remote controllers, flick on light switches, and unplug our laptops. The problem is that this essential process is tricked every time we watch a 3D movie.

The author also presents further evidence of harm from 3D and virtual reality devices, namely Sega's VR Headset released roughly 15 years ago. After being tested by the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) at Palo Alto California, the results showed warnings of "...unintended psychophysiological side effects of participation in (3D) virtual environments."

Not cool. What's even scarier is that these results are often bad press for the company and tend to get buried away from the eyes of the prying public. For us, we find ourselves much more worried on the recent trends: 1) the present focus on children with 3D media and 2) long term exposure. Sure, you can let your kids watch a 2 hour movie, no prob, but letting them spend hours per day with their eyes potentially misaligned while playing a 3D video game? Not so cool.

That said, there's not enough conclusive evidence here for long-term hazards for adults over the age of 7. And for the most part, the majority of the current research may be outdated or perhaps even inaccurate given the new developments in recent technology. I tend to live on the safe side, however, and will most likely refrain from investing in 3D until I get more evidence of its safety. But that's just me.

What do you guys think? Let us know if this new 3D trend worry or excites you!

[Via Audioholics]

[Image: _liana]

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