3D? It's for monkeys

Have you got a 3DTV?

We bet you haven't. Have you seen more than one 3D film?

We bet you haven't. It's been the beneficiary of an avalanche of hype, but it seems 3D isn't quite setting the world alight.

Some reckon it's the glasses, and once glasses-free 'autostereoscopic' 3D is ready to go, we'll come round. But according to Walter Murch, an Oscar-winning Hollywood editor, glasses aren't the problem. Murch says 3D simply requires our eyes to do things they don't want to do.

Here comes the technical bit - concentrate...

[With 3D] the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen — say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what. But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focussed and converged at the same point.

Yeah, we know. We think what this means is that you have to focus your eyes on the screen, but your brain's focus will be on whatever virtual depth the things on screen appear to be. It messes with us, and it can lead to headaches.

Of course, they said watching TV would give you square eyes, and we all managed to get use to it (although, by causing an unprecedented global obesity epidemic, TV actually turned out to be more dangerous than anyone imagined). So we'll take this with a pinch of salt. But if 3D really is a failure, we'll know who to blame: ourselves.

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