It’s no secret that 3D movie technology is on the rise. With the success of movies like Avatar, movie makers find that 3D film draws crowds – and their wallets – to theaters in popcorn-inhaling waves. But 3D doesn’t stop at the cinema anymore. Televisions, video recorders, cameras, and Internet videos now utilize 3D images. Even Nintendo’s new handheld game system, the Nintendo 3DS, uses glasses free 3D technology.
3D is so popular it’s enough to give viewers a headache, and it turns out in many cases, it does. Although modern 3D displays are far less likely to cause headaches than their 1960s predecessors, a Reuters’ report claims that 3D headaches and sickness are quite common among movie-goers, especially those who have slight visual problems like astigmatism or muscle imbalances between eyes. Normally, the brain compensates for these problems when viewing depth in the real world. 3D movies, however, are calibrated to average visual ability, which means that eyes that are a few degrees off cause the brain to work extra hard to reconcile the image. The extra mental strain causes headaches, nausea, and dizziness in some people.
In fact, even those with normal, healthy vision can have problems with 3D. In real life, the eyes focus and converge at the same place, namely whatever the person is looking at. In a 3D image, the eyes focus on the screen, but converge on the image. The disparity can be very disorienting.
The Solution If 3D Movies Make You Sick
So what can you do if you feel sick in 3D movies? Do you tell your friends that you’ll see the 2D version while they go to a separate screening? Well one YouTuber found an answer. He made 2D glasses.
Hank Green explains in one of his recent videos that he wanted to see the movie Tron: Legacy in 3D with his wife. She told Hank that 3D movies give her a headache. So he came up with a solution.
3D glasses work in the cinema because they have two different polarized lenses, projecting a slightly different image to each eye, which creates the illusion of depth. Hank explains that he “called a company that manufactures 3D glasses and asked, ‘Yo, could you make glasses with the same polarization in each lens?’” The company told Hank that they could make the glasses, but it would “ruin the 3D effect”.
Hank asked if by “ruin” they meant that it would produce a clear 2D image, and they said it would. So Hank ordered 5,000 pairs of 2D glasses.
Where To Buy 2D 3D Movie Glasses
Hank is now distributing the glasses at 2D-glasses.com, and users claim that the headaches that plagued them are gone, along with the illusion of 3D. The glasses don’t work with 3D televisions or most 3D images outside of the theater, as those effects are created by slightly different technology, but for 2D fans who want to go to the movies with 3D lovers, the glasses are perfect.
At a time when 3D is taking over, the popularity and support for these 2D glasses may indicate that traditional flat images are regaining some of their footing in public opinion. Perhaps the “gimmicky” illusion of 3D will soon be a headache of the past.