3D TV may be trouble for kids, drunks and others

Posted 14 April 2010 00:28 CET by Jared Newman

The luxury of 3D television isn’t for everyone, according to a warning message from Samsung.

On Samsung’s Australian Web site, there’s a page full of disclaimers on who should not be watching 3D TV. The biggest risk is to children, whom Samsung says “may be more susceptible to health issues associated with viewing in 3D and should be closely supervised when viewing these images.”

But the warning page also lists other groups that should avoid using a TV’s 3D functionality. Pregnant women and the elderly should steer clear, Samsung cautions, as should people who’ve drank too much alcohol or haven’t slept enough.

It’s not clear what exactly will happen to people who don’t follow Samsung’s guidelines, but the company lists nine symptoms to watch out for, including altered vision, lightheadedness, dizziness, involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching, confusion, nausea, convulsions, cramps and disorientation. Viewers should stop watching and consult a medical specialist immediately if any of these symptoms are experienced.

But wait, there’s more: Samsung recommends frequent breaks from watching 3D TV, lest you experience motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and “decreased postural stability.” If any of those things happen, you’re advised to stop watching TV for at least a half hour.

And yet there’s still more: Don’t sit too close to the TV (no closer than three times the screen height), Samsung says. And don’t put the TV near stairwells, balconies, cables — basically anything you could trip over or fall from, because 3D can cause disorientation for some viewers. Oh, and don’t try using 3D glasses for anything besides watching 3D TV.

Right now, 3D television’s biggest roadblock is the lack of available content. But with 3D on the way to television networks, sporting event broadcasts, Blu-ray movies and gaming consoles, pretty soon there may just be too much 3D for your body to handle.

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