Japanese TV makers are betting 3D will be the future of entertainment, despite the fact that it makes millions of people uncomfortable or sick. Optometrists say as many as one in four viewers have problems watching 3-D movies and TV; this because 3D causes tiresome eyestrain or the viewer has problems perceiving depth in real life. After watching 3D, people have reported feeling queasy, dizzy or having headaches.
A helpful solution to this problem is lifelike 3D displays, but they're years or even decades from being available to the masses. Even further away is the prospect of live holograms, which could create 3D images that could be viewed without glasses, from all angles.
The entertainment industry is aware of the problems caused by 3D, but they’re still going forward with plans to create more movies and TV shows in 3D. Companies like AMC Entertainment Inc and Panasonic (News - Alert) Corp., are spending more than a billion dollars to upgrade theaters and TVs for 3D. Satellite and cable channels have already implemented 3D programming; ESPN (News - Alert) just announced its 3D network will begin broadcasting 24 hours a day next month.
Although, research into how today's 3D screens affect viewers is only in its early stages. There have been no large-scale scientific studies. Yet there are already signs that consumers may not be as excited about 3D as the entertainment and electronics industries are. Last year, people were willing to pay an additional $3 or more per ticket for blockbuster 3D movies (such as Avatar and Toy Story 3) but that didn't help the overall box office take. Tickets were down slightly from the year before and people went to the theater less, but spent more.
While we all wait for lifelike 3D displays, Roger Phelps, an optometrist in Ojai, Calif., recommends (for the time being) sufferers sit as far back as they can in 3D theaters or close one eye, or put a Post-It note over it like an eye patch. That way, 3D goes back to being 2D.
Charles West is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Charles worked with many gadget oriented sites that included running his own blog (TheTrendaholic.com) and Smartphone column for examiner.com. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Charles West