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Problems in 3-D: headaches and nausea
The film studios in Hollywood and also the TV equipment manufacturers in Asia are making sure that 3-D is the next big trend in entertainment electronics. And this, although there are apparently not to be underestimated side effects. Millions of people report complaints while watching a 3D movie. According to eye optics, up to every fourth spectator may have problems with 3-D movies. In the worst case, they cause nausea and headaches. Since the problems are known, researchers have already begun to develop 3-D screens that are designed to prevent this. However, such devices are still a few years away from the market. This does not stop the entertainment industry from producing more and more films, TV shows and other material in 3-D. Jeff Katzenberg, head of Dreamworks Animation, calls 3-D "the greatest innovation for the cinema since the introduction of the color film". Companies such as the AMC Entertainment group or the Panasonic electronics group invest billions to trim cinemas and television to 3-D. The TV stations also set up and offer first programs in 3-D.

Consumer reserved
But there are also indications that the consumers of 3-D are not as enthusiastic as the industry has expected. In the cinema, people were still willing to spend more money on a film in 3-D last year. The cinema industry in the USA has not used anything. With 10.6 billion dollars in 2010, the US citizens left a little less money at the cinema than in the previous year. 3-D TVs were available for the first time last year in the US, but the sales of some 1.6 million devices did not meet the expectations, as the market research company DisplaySearch determined. Nevertheless, at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas many new 3D TVs was presented. Like in the cinema, one needs also with these devices and extra glasses.

A headache, nausea, and discomfort
How the viewing of a 3-D film effects man exactly is still hardly explored. There are no major studies yet. An investigation with 115 South Koreans showed that 3-D weighs more than 2-D. The government recommends that after an hour 3-D film should be a break of 15 minutes. Based on an online survey, the American Ophthalmologists Association said that up to 25 percent of viewers would have a headache, nausea, or dim eyes when viewing a 3-D movie. The TV manufacturers also research on the subject but do not publish their results. Samsung warns, however, on its Australian website, the 3-D TVs could lead to "motion sickness, disorientation, eye strain and reduced stability of position". Spectators can lose their balance and fall. Anyone who is in poor physical condition needs to sleep or drink alcohol, should refrain from 3-D, it says. Nintendo recommends that children under the age of six should not use the new 3-D console because the development of vision might be impaired.

Eyes are overwhelmed when focusing
The three-dimensional impression results in three films by the fact that different images are shown to the eye at the same time. But the eye is also looking for a different reference to the spatial depth in a scene: It is expected that it must focus on different distances in order to see clearly. When an object approaches, the eye turns inward, toward the nose. This is also the case with 3-D films when an object comes to the viewer. The problem is that when they turn inward, the eyes expect the focus to change. The screen does not come closer. This dichotomy leads to the fact that the eyes constantly change and do so much more work. "This is at least a reason why people feel tired and not comfortable," says Martin Banks, the professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The problem becomes even greater as the viewer moves closer to the screen, for example, the TV. Roger Phelps, an optician in California, explained that most of the problems would have those who would otherwise have trouble with their eyes. "If they are easily noised when driving, they may be affected," says Phelps.

Sit as far back as possible
The filmmakers also react to the problems. They avoid all-too-drastic effects, which could damage the eyes too much. Also make sure that the main element of a scene, for example, the face of a performer, seems to be at the same distance as the screen. This makes the eyes less confused. On the other hand, this also limits the possibilities of the directors. Researchers are working on new glasses that better represent 3-D, but years may pass before they enter the market. Until then, those who want to see the 3-D despite the problems should at least sit in the cinema as far back as possible.

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