Friday, February 18, 2011

2D or Not 2D... the jury is still out.

   Being an avid fan of almost all things geek, I must admit I was impressed by the effects of Avatar and some other 3D movies of late. And who can resist the urge to put on the demo glasses at Costco to check out the new 3D TVs? So while the inner geek loves the idea of being able to be immersed in the world of 3D, the non-geek side of me wonders about the time span between the cardboard glasses with blue and red lenses and the technology used today. More specifically, what happened? Did it have a run like bell-bottom pants and 80's music where one day its cool, the next not so much, and then back again to a nostalgic awe, though now suped up with new design, tech-beats, and other such pizazz?

   Or maybe it went the way of not so awesome ideas in the way described by Wayde Robson in an online article from June 2010. It details that the affects of 3D and Virtual Reality in both games and movies can teach the nerves that work between the eyes and brain "learn bad habits" that can have negative results. Wayde interviewed Mark Pesce, who worked on Sega's Virtual Reality headset (pictured below). When it went to third-party testing at  the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) at Palo Alto California, the SRI responded with "You cannot give this to kids!"

(Sega VR headset)

   The same refrain is echoed in recent weeks with the announcement and up-coming release of the Nintendo 3DS. As found on the Wall Street Journal online, Nintendo and many of the other 3D offering companies (TVs and games alike) are issuing warnings about young viewers. This may be part of a means of preventing legal concerns that could come from potential irritation or damage as a result of using the product. Or as it is suggested in both the articles sited, it is due to the extensive development of the eyes in younger children.

(Nintendo 3DS)
   I think that regardless of whether a 3D technology is embraced as a whole or not is somewhat taboo at this point. But to be certain, there are some people that can't watch a 3D movie in theaters without coming out with a headache. So even if it is only a percentage of the population that is unable to partake of the newest technology wave, are we really sure it is a wave that we want to ride? As it stands for this little developer, I don't plan on jumping on the 3D band wagon anytime too soon with my developments. Not just due to the limitations I have regarding the technology resources, but because I have some reservations about whether the damage (or even potential damage) could be lasting. I suppose there is something to be said about being on the cutting edge. But I've found that there is a lot more I can say about learning from the mistakes of others and studying the technology by staying a step or two back from that edge.

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