Warning: 3D movies may cause vision fatigue

A UC Berkeley optometrist had warned that over-exposure to 3D technology could cause a small number of people to suffer from vision fatigue.

However, Professor Martin Bank told the San Francisco Chronicle that the nascent industry was working “closely” with doctors and vision experts to ensure a more comfortable 3D experience.

“The message is definitely getting out that we have to do some things to help people have a good experience,” said Banks.

Indeed, scientists at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco have collaborated with researchers at UCSF and other universities to make 3D interactions easier on the eyes.

“It used to be people would see a 3D movie and go, ‘cool, 3D,’ but after 20 minutes it became uncomfortable,” explained Guido Voltolina, senior director for business development and image technology at Dolby. 

”We want your brain to focus on the story, not try to work for the image.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Adams of UCSF explained that frequent eye movements or adjustments were responsible for causing a small number of people to experience symptoms such as motion sickness, nausea or dizziness.

“When you watch a 3-D movie, you’re making [small and frequent] eye movements because the objects on the screen appear closer or farther away than they actually are,” explained Adams. 

”If you obey the brain reflex and focus your eyes on the image (up close or in the distance), it goes out of focus. You have to break that reflexive loop [and] in some people, that may cause a little discomfort.”