3D: Does It Make Your Head Happy ... or Ache? - HotHardware
3D: Does It Make Your Head Happy ... or Ache?

3D: Does It Make Your Head Happy ... or Ache?

Nintendo has quasi-acknowledged that its 3DS can cause headaches and should not be used by children under 7. The glasses-free 3D handheld gaming device launched this week. Meanwhile, new research commissioned by the Blu-ray Disc Association is trying to improve the health image of 3D. It's research shows that the brain is more attentive when watching a 3D movie than when watching HD or SDTV, making the movie a more pleasurable experience.

About a year ago, much news was made about how 3D could cause headaches and visual disturbances. One report went so far as to blame 3D for causing a car crash. (An 18 year-old reportedly blacked out while driving after watching the 3D film Alice in Wonderland.). Researchers found that Stereo 3D movies and television could cause people to suffer as many as seven perceptual problems, said Martin Banks, a professor of optometry and vision science at the University of California at Berkeley. Banks found that as the distance to the 3D display is reduced, the brain has more problems with the 3D techniques used to fake it into seeing an object as closer than it really is. Banks had also warned that children's exposure to 3D should be limited.


Would you crash your car after watching this guy in 3D?
Perhaps not but you might want to...

Fast forward to today. People have been complaining that Nintendo's new glasses-free 3DS handheld game causes headaches. Nintendo has (almost) acknowledged that the gaming device can indeed cause headaches or other visual problems by posting guidance on how to minimize them. The Twittersphere, being the kind of medium that it is, dumbed-down this advice to two syllables: "Take breaks." But the advice was a bit more involved. Nintendo advises taking a 15-minute break after every 60 minutes of play. It also says individuals should adjust their angle of display and the device's 3D depth slide, which intensifies or reduces (even turns off) the 3D effect. It then warned that 3D should be turned off completely for children age 6 and under.


Nintendo says children under 7 should pass on the 3DS.

The issue, doctors say, is that 3D works by tricking the brain into making you think you are physically moving in relation to your surroundings. But you aren't. So your inner ear is not experiencing the movement that corresponds to what the eyes are seeing. This doesn't normally happen in real life.

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) would like you to buy more 3D discs and equipment. It can't counter the scientific evidence that shows tricking the brain sometimes hurts. So it came up with a different methodology. It commissioned MindLabs to test how people emotionally react to 3D at the physical, and "subconscious" level. That is, do they like it more? MindLabs is a research facility for hire that measures human emotions, attention and performance by monitoring biofeedback including EEG brainwaves (or electroencephalography). EEG can be used in all kinds of fascinating ways, including mind-controlled games.

Blue-ray disc
3D is a measurably more engrossing way to watch a movie, in theory...

MindLab tested 24 people and determined that they were 12 percent more attentive when watching 3D then when watching HD. They were 29 percent more so compared to watching a DVD in SD, Pocket-lint reports.

No one would deny that 3D is more immersive, that's why people like it, particularly for gaming. But the question is ... does the brain love 3D or not? Answer: not really. But with moderation, regular breaks and a little maturity, 3D seems safe enough and sure is a whole lot of fun.

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While I find 3D at the home somewhat irrelevant really in this sector it seems even more so. I mean I guess it is kind of cool, but really 3d caricatures of less than an inch. The one thing that gets me about this is in such a small spectrum how do you actually accurately play a game objects are centimeters in diameter. Where people or game characters are an inch or less. Maybe on a decently large TV there is some point, but in a 800x400ish display that 4x2 or 3 inches come on. On the phone point in filing I can see a point in this I guess as it could be played back on a larger display. On a PC game OK as the display is larger and your right in front of it even, but this small come on.

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It's obviously not for you or me and probably not for many here, but apparently there is a market for it. The question in my mind is when will the novelty wear off?

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Thats the big question, i get the feeling its more of a fad and that the market for 3D will crash in a few years.

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pwrntspd:
i get the feeling its more of a fad and that the market for 3D will crash in a few years

No matter what's in your living room, no matter how new it is,.....they'll always have something newer and better that you just HAVE to have NOW!!

3D is just such a thing. I'll skip it.

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Only kids will find it cool :D. It pops out and with all those action running around in the air... lol. Not really going to last though.

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3d tvs are fun for gaming, I have used a PS3 for it and if its implemented well in a game then its fun. 

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i cant really understand the hype of this product, The 3d effect is poorly implemented, the launch games are laughable, and it has a horrible battery life. my friends love it but i for one hate it.

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I'd only hate it if I had wasted my money on it. :P

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i think its not really much of a general user product... its more of a benchmark and "level" that gaming needed to get to for the standard next gen thats coming out... 3D is just too damn amazing and it dont matter how bad it is for kids, they wont stop using it... remember when there was a big issue with CRT t.v's causing eye damage? well almost no one stop using them because of this and history repeats itself :)

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DScheive might have a point.

I've seen quite a few 3D movies yet I have barely gotten headaches from any of them.

I'm one of the few who finds 3D interesting but the fact that they're making 3D expensive, it just makes me shudder a lot.

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3D is certainly the way Hollywood and the electronics companies are going to pry us from our hard earned dollars, but I have a feeling that this is just a fad that will eventually pass. Once more and more content is made in 3D, it simply won't have that wow factor and we, as always, will be looking at the next new thing. The 3DS is going the right direction be actually making 3D "matter" in gameplay, and they've done it without the need for silly glasses! Hooray! But a lot of movies lately are making 3D the only thing they've got going, while the underlying film is really substandard. Here's to hoping that the content can one day take full advantage of the tech.

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greatscott77:
a lot of movies lately are making 3D the only thing they've got going, while the underlying film is really substandard.

I agree with you. They're relying on the technology to carry them through and that's a huge mistake. It takes a good plot, with good direction, and good actors, all combining to make a good movie. Every now and then you'll see a combination of "Great" that knocks your sock off.

I've been to Universal Studios and seen a few 3D shows there, but they didn't last long and they gave me headaches too. I for one, can't sit through a whole 3D movie without becoming sick. My doctor (one of my sons) says that 3D technology tricks the brain into thinking it's seeing something that isn't there. (simplified explanation) My brain doesn't accept it, or it doesn't believe it, or it can't cope with it. I can't wait to get out of there.

No way am I gonna buy into it at home.

 

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