Why 3D will Never Be Universally Accepted

May 2, 2011 | by

We have seen a massive push by media companies and manufacturers to accept stereoscopic 3D into cinemas and our homes, but are these companies pushing an already obsolete technology?

What is evident is that the technology isn’t universally accepted with swathes of consumers reporting headaches and nausea from viewing through these dimmed out glasses.

This isn’t just in one or two cases, it is a sizeable minority reporting problems in viewing and another chunk unable to view the 3D effect promised by the adverts. The problem comes from a fundamental issue with the way that stereoscopic 3D affects your eyes.

Stereoscopic 3D projects two images, one for each eye, and for each eye the image hijacks the way we judge depth to a point where our eyes are constantly struggling to bring the image into focus. When we look at things in the real world our eyes angle towards the image, allowing us to judge the depth of the item, items closer to our face will mean our eyes are more cross eyed to bring it into focus, whereas if we are looking to the horizon, our eyes are almost parallel.

The images created have a parallax between them, a subtle difference of angle presented for items desired to be in the foreground or background and with the aid of polarised lenses, active shutter lenses, or the inbuilt polarised screen of the Nintendo 3DS our eyes are fooled into thinking that the 2D image has aspects in it that are closer than others.

It is this disparity between focus and convergence that means that many people struggle with viewing a 3D display or that many others feel nauseous after prolonged viewing.

The technology behind this is inexpensive and easy to produce compared to the alternative technology that is by far the better option. Holographic 3D, although still in its infancy, is something of pure Sci-fi fantasy, a technology that recreates the light distribution being sent to your optical senses the same way it would be sent from real world objects. This would in turn create an image with real depth, without the need for glasses.

The obvious disadvantage holographic 3D has over stereoscopic 3D is the backing that it has already received from the industry, expending so many resources in promoting this technology with many consumers having already upgraded from their new HD television to a 3D television, the willingness to upgrade again may be a push too far.

It may mean our eyes have to adjust and evolve to this relatively new technology, but all the time Nintendo are putting warnings of “not suitable for developing eyes” we may see more and more people discouraged by the current technology of 3D.

This is a guest post by Andy, who is a gaming enthusiast and freelance SEO working for Keylogo branded stationery. Follow him on his twitter @andym23


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