The Nintendo 3DS handheld is due to be released in Japan on February 26, offering 3D images to gamers without the need for any glasses to create the effect. Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime had recommended that very young children not be exposed to the 3D images, and said that it was a standard protocol within the industry.
Following that suggestion and similar advice, a debate has grown in the media about the potential "dangers" of 3D images. Often brought up are comments from Mark Pesce, an early pioneer in virtual reality, made last year where he said children could potentially suffer permanent damage from regular and extensive exposure to 3D images on a screen.
He also criticized the major tech companies pushing the technology for not doing healthy safety tests. Sony, Samsung and LG are among tech giants that do actually issue health and safety guidance with 3D products, mostly echoing the advice made by Nintendo but also extending to people under the influence of alcohol, pregnant women, senior citizens and people with heart health issues.
DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffery Katzenberg dismisses most of the safety concerns surrounding the technology. "It does not seem to be based on any meaningful research or medical advice," he said.
"We are in the kid business and we have talked to many people, experts in the fields of eye and eye care and so we've asked 'is there something we need to be concerned about?', and it's a hypothetical. What people have said is that for very, very early eye development - which we were told is three years and younger by the way, not six years - there is some concern that there might be some issue of... straining the eyes."
DreamWorks Animation now produces all of its films in 3D.
Written by: James Delahunty @ 1 Feb 2011 20:08