Three-dimensional viewing is, as the technology firms would have you believe, the way of the future. This is exactly what I thought it would be, using optical principles we have known for over a century to get a last hurrah out of television and watching movies in theatres. Coincidently, two areas that are significantly threatened by the advent and progression of the Internet and global telecommunications. Rather than research into holography — what 3-D really wants to be but isn’t — we are investing into technology which requires either goofy glasses or only a limited area from which you can experience the actual 3-D. The question becomes then, whether it will be a gimmick or an idea that can last.
Problems have already occurred with 3-D technologies. Most notable are the difficulties viewing 3-D movies experienced by people who suffer from vision problems; particularly people lacking stereo vision, or rather, the ability to see equally with both of their eyes. Problems experienced by these people can include: headaches, disorientation or, quite simply, an inability to see the third dimension that you are paying a premium for. Beyond that, there exists potential for financial strain upon already overdrawn consumers who have just recently begun upgrading their systems to high definition televisions and Blu-Ray players.
As for the beginning of videogames turning toward 3-D, we have a similar question as to whether or not it is truly worth it.
The capability to view things in 3-D, without 3D glasses is now possible in the new Nintendo 3DS. However, you can turn the device only minimal amounts to the left or right before the 3-D projected picture becomes distorted. The same as if you were to remove the goofy glasses in a movie that required them.
The truth of the matter is that for 3-D to be used properly, it should have a time and a place. Not all movies, television shows and games need to have every gimmick to be worth watching. Nothing is worse then watching a scene, particularly in the 2-D version of something you know is also available in 3-D, and know that scene is there solely to cause you to go, “Hey! Isn’t 3-D awesome? Aren’t you glad you paid extra for this movie ticket and are going to take out a second mortgage to pay for a 3-D compatible television and Blu-Ray player?”
This leads us to ask what is next for 3-D. If its already going to be entering our lives through our movie going experiences, into our homes through videogames, our new entertainment system (the third in less then a decade) and undoubtedly our computers, what will come next?
Pornography, another industry that is struggling to adapt to the new and exciting world of instant access and gratification, will definitely see the benefits to 3-D. What about advertisements? Will they be as easy to ignore when they leap off of your television and consume your field of vision?
All I’m asking is are the benefits worth spending thousands of dollars pursuing a technology that was a big deal decades ago, but today feels like a gimmick?