Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Medicine Displays Movies Science

3D Displays May Be Hazardous To Young Children 386

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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

3D Displays May Be Hazardous To Young Children

Comments Filter:
  • No replies? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:04PM (#32704660)

    Huh? Hours old and no replies yet? A bug?

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

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

  • 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 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.

  • 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 DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:40PM (#32706216)

    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 contrast, go into any 3D movie that requires glasses, and you will see a very visible offset of the images on screen. I have to wonder if that offset contributes to this issue where the eye is trained not to focus on the same point point in space, but rather relaxes more towards an 'infinite' focus point, much like you use when viewing those old 3D photographs.

  • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:51PM (#32706504)
    That happened not lately, with the exact company in the example given. THE FORD PINTO!!

    Jesus fuck, have people forgotten about that already? The god damn thing was designed in such a way that it would explode if you hit it just right. The fix for the problem was something like $2 per unit (even taking into account inflation, that ain't a lot of money) and ford decided against implementing the fix.

    A company that said "hey, our product kills people" and then decided that it was worth a small amount of money even if they knew hundreds of people would die.
  • Re:Islam is evil (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:55PM (#32706516)
    if you would have said this about christianity you would have been modded up as insightful.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:57PM (#32706522)

    It doesn't matter.

    People have psychoanalyzed the behavior of public corporations. The pathology they display? Sociopathy.

    If they *don't* act that way, executives will get fired.

    If they don't fire the executives, directors will get sued.

    We're getting just what we've asked for... it's just not what we want.

  • by mateo650 ( 112191 ) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:39PM (#32706726)

    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 achieved by not having too much stuff in negative paralax (in front of) or positive paralax (outside of) the screen.

    Kid's human visual system is very adept. Filmakers are careful especially with kids movies to not have a lot of separation in the 3D especially since children's eyes are not as far apart as adults.

    Finally most of these studies are old Japanese studies that were performed on old hardware and the results aren't really viable.

    I've successfully decoupled my vergence and focus and you can too.

    Also if you want to hear more about strabismus and 3-D look up "Stereo Sue" who actually had surgery to regain her strabismus and now is an avid 3-D fan.

    This sounds like FUD to me

  • by juliannoble ( 1154079 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @12:48AM (#32706980)
    I mean.. so what?.. Let's just prepare for the case where we spend most of our time immersed in 3D CG environments. Optimize for that case and develop special goggles/implants to correct the strabismus for the rare occasion when we disconnect and want to take a peek at the naked 'real' world. Who *doesn't* want their view of the real world overlayed with location-aware ads and their gaggle of facebook/skype/tweet messages anyway?
  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Sunday June 27, 2010 @02:53AM (#32707434) Journal

    When I was a kid, I spent hours looking into a View Master [], 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. [] 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. [] I like my children, so personally I'd rather be safe than sorry.
  • by Bush Pig ( 175019 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @09:40AM (#32708580)

    Indeed. I spent several years working as a photogrammetrist. This involved staring into a stereoscope with both eyes pointing straight ahead and focussed at infinity, tracing details from a 3-D model resolved 9in my brain) from a pair of aerial photographs with about a 60% overlap.

    That sounds a fair bit like the technology Mark Pesce reckons is so dangerous. I (and the probably thousands of other people who did this) have felt no ill-effects.

  • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:41AM (#32709110) Homepage Journal
    No, you get flamebait when you post controversially. PopeRatzo and I are diametrically opposed on many, many political topics, but we both share a penchant for saying stuff that's 1) way out there and 2) probably deeply true. Every once in a while some ass that dislikes me gets mod points and wanders around tagging all my posts flamebait, I've got karma to burn and I suspect he does too.
  • 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 ;) )

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong