There’s a lot of buzz about 3D these days. Everything has to be in 3D! Our lives will be so much better in 3D! The last time I looked up from the screen – TV, computer, smartphone; take your pick – my life was already in 3D. Do we really need 3D on all those screens too? The folks who showcased their wares at CES 2011 seem to think so. Laptops, smartphones, cameras and camcorders are among the new 3D products being introduced, but the big thing – the holy grail of 3D – is the television.
I suspect that 3D television isn’t going to be the technological boon that the manufacturers are hoping for. Remember Betamax? Yes, I’m predicting that 3D is going to flop. I should disclose that I’m not a techy person, but I am a mom and a consumer. I feel strong disdain toward 3D. I just don’t like it. Maybe I am a little biased against 3D because, well, I can’t see it. Literally. I’m a semi-freak of nature with one farsighted eye and one nearsighted eye. Depth perception is not my thing.
I thought I’d better check my personal contempt for 3D and seek out some other opinions before declaring it doomed in public. It took one post on a mommy message board to quickly find out that it’s not just me. Those other moms are not impressed. In fact, some said they hated the whole idea of it. (I’m not counting my own posts. I swear.) Complaints ranged from the cost, to not wanting to deal with the 3D glasses, to headaches and feeling sick while watching 3D images. Those same complaints were mirrored in a recent Reuters post.
To be fair, a couple of the posters had good things to say about their 3D televisions, but they were the exception. It may be that once people get a 3D TV into their homes they’ll be thrilled, but therein lies the problem: warranted or not, there is a negative perception of 3D TV, and it’s going to be difficult for manufacturers to change that.
I have this image in my head of the people behind 3D televisions; they’re single, without children, and they watch TV alone. That’s the only way I can imagine they think it’s a good idea for anyone else. Let’s look at the glasses: No parent in their right mind is going to spend money on special 3D glasses, because they’re going to be smashed to bits in short order. Or, likely stepped on by an adult after they’ve been left on the floor. (Trust me on this.) There are 3D televisions now that don’t require those attractive glasses, but there have been complaints about image quality for those not sitting directly in front of it, leading to a less-than-stellar group viewing experience.
Most importantly, exactly how safe is 3D viewing? One look at the long list of warnings from Samsung could be enough to make you think twice. My favorite warning has to be, “Viewing in 3D mode may cause disorientation for some viewers. DO NOT place your television near open stairwells, cables, balconies or other objects that may cause you to injure yourself.” In other words, a 3D fondue party on your balcony might be a bad idea. There’s also some concern that viewing 3D can damage the vision of children. A couple hours in a movie theater is one thing, but what about long-term exposure at home? It’s enough of a concern that Nintendo issued a warning that children under 6 years old shouldn’t play games in 3D mode on the Nintendo 3DS, because it could have an adverse effect on developing eyesight. There are some other scary warnings out there, and as a parent, it certainly makes me wary of exposing my children to 3D anything. Tangled-2D, here we come.
If you really want to be freaked out about what 3D can do to you, check out the clip below from MSNBC’s ZeitGeist. I agree with Willie. Really, how important is that extra dimension? Thanks, but this Mom will pass.
Lori lives in the greater Cincinnati area. She’s a stay-at-home mom of two girls while her husband works to pay off her two college degrees. When not changing diapers or sorting coupons she can be found tweeting as @LoriNKY or blogging at Mish Mash Momma.
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