For the first time in history, the Opening General Session for Optometry’s Meeting® in Chicago in the last week of June featured an educational 3D experience led by a number of Hollywood dignitaries. The audience included attending doctors of optometry, students, paraoptometrics, and their families. (For perspective, there are over 60,000 optometrists in the United States alone.)
At the opening session, 3D experts Jim Chabin (president of the International 3D Society), Buzz Hayes (senior vice president and executive stereoscopic 3D producer for Sony 3D Technology Center at Sony Pictures Entertainment), Graham Clark (StereoD, LLC), and Bob Whitehill (stereoscopic supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios) demonstrated and explained the concepts of 3D as it pertains to the entertainment world. They showed 3D clips from films such as “The Lion King,” “Rise of the Guardians,” “Spiderman” and “Titanic”, among others. Many of these clips have never been seen outside their studios.
Jim Chabin, the president of the International 3D Society, stated “We ask your help in making sure stereo deficiencies are corrected.” Chabin continued, “We hope amblyopia rates can be reduced and decimated. We hope your practices can provide appropriate diagnoses. You are important partners in 3D; you are the first responders.”
|Jim Chabin, president|
of the International 3D Society
Why was this event so important? Simply stated, the science behind stereoscopic 3D is an essential step to increased understanding of 3D and stereoscopic 3D (S3D) viewing as a safe and appropriate technology for all audiences. As the popularity of 3D rises, so too will optometry’s responsibility to educate the public and assist the production studios and other 3D developments. As Jim Chabin suggests, optometrists are the nation’s 3D “first responders.” For that reason, this opening session was clearly a landmark educational opportunity.
The Opening General Session was followed by a number of educational sessions focused on the topic of 3D vision/diagnosis/treatment, along with a very comprehensive Saturday symposium on the 3D experience. During the Saturday symposium, optometric professionals had the opportunity to take a journey through the entire process of 3D, plus experience the first-ever live, heads –up, 3D slit lamp exam demonstration (a diagnostic technology developed by TrueVision). Anthony Lopez, a 3rd year student of optometry was in the audience and was fortunate to be the “first ever optometry student” to experience a slit lamp exam using this new 3D technology. There is clearly a promising role for 3D in the world of optometric diagnosis and treatment.