When modern digital 3D first hit the large and small screen, folks shouted sharply about their visual discomfort: headaches, eye strain, soreness, and nausea seemed to rule the day. Although some of those problems were due to poor stereographic techniques, the seminal research from the American Optometric Association (AOA) laid most of these concerns to rest: discomfort or the inability to see digital 3D without pesky symptoms was not the fault of the technology, but rather, the peculiarities of our own vision. The 3D experience was, in fact, a quick and inexpensive test for healthy binocular vision. If you could experience the richness of 3D, your eyes worked like they were supposed to. If not, an underlying vision issue had just been brought to your attention.
With this revelation, the myth that the 3D experience was “bad for your eyes” or “bad for children” rapidly dissolved. With the launch of the AOA research, schools of optometry and vision health professional associations launched an aggressive multi-year training effort to bring the medical community up to speed in the diagnosis and treatment of what has become known as the 3D vision syndrome. And you knew it wouldn’t be long until that same vision revolution hit mobile devices. In next week’s post, we will introduce the work of a leading optometrist/vision therapist who is moving rapidly to bring 3D vision testing to the iPad, with great success. With a surprising educational twist.