December 30, 2013

FT3D Word Cloud

Here’s a graphic word cloud of all the key words or themes in our Future-Talk 3D blog during the year 2013.  The more the word is found, the larger it appears in this word cloud. It's good to see what's most important--you can tell from its size! The word cloud is interactive, so explore a bit!

It’s quite interesting to visualize, in this way, the recurring themes and concepts that have emerged as memes from Future-Talk 3D this last year. It’s like putting your fingers on the pulse of what’s happening with educational 3D—and taking a read.

December 23, 2013

Future-Talk 3D Worldview

Добрый день      Bom dia   مرحبا   こんにちは Bienvenidos       

The Future-Talk 3D blog serves a diverse international audience interested in educational 3D. Our readers might be interested in seeing which countries were our top ten blog visitors during 2013. Based on web impressions for the 2013 calendar year, here is how the data shape up:

It is worthwhile to note that Germany outpaced Russia this year; there is a relentless back-and-forth wrestling match between Australia and India (and India won out this year); and that France has surged from tenth to sixth place this year. 

Are there any surprises here? Or are these just “the usual suspects?” What do you think? Please comment.

Of course, this chart only represents the top ten. Many hundreds of other visitors have frequented this blog, coming from countries all over the world. Future-Talk 3D blog has been visited by nearly every country in North, South, and Central America. The same is true for Europe; the entire Middle East is also broadly represented. Most of Asia has visited us, as well as more than 16 countries from Africa.  

I want to thank you for your deep and committed interest in 3D in education. Please write me, let me know what you are doing in your country. I would love to feature some interviews in 2014.

December 16, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse

Last week we continued the discussion about the recent problem with Apple’s new iPhone iOS7 making people sick. In the first post of this four-part series, I suggested that the real story is about a lesson not yet learned, in fact, about two lessons not yet learned. This week's post focuses on lesson #2.

Lesson #2: The 3D experience can provide an indicator of underlying vision problems.
Now, if you read the recent post of Christopher Mims, Hurl into this! Digital motion sickness will be the occupational disease of the 21st century, you would certainly imagine a new world threat has arrived on the scene; or at least, that the zombie apocalypse is upon us. He complains: “I get headaches at 3D movies and motion sick at the slightest provocation.” Apparently, the newest Apple 3D parallax feature comes right at the heels of previous and wanton 3D destruction. He warns of a new zombie apocalypse: “the 21st century is going to be one you’ll want to spend hiding from just about every kind of innovation in human-computer interfaces.” Mr. Mims is recognizing a genuine problem, but he is partially misinformed.

Perhaps Dr. Dominick Maino (OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A), an internationally recognized expert in pediatrics/binocular vision at the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute, explains it best: "Vision induced motion sickness has been recognized for decades. It is frequently called "See Sickness" or Neuro-Ocular Vestibular Dysfunction. Many experience blurred vision, diplopia, headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, and drowsiness.”

Further Dr. Maino advises that such symptoms are treatable and therefore avoidable:  “It can be successfully diagnosed and treated by an optometrist specifically trained to evaluate the functional capabilities of your vision. These optometrists can be found at” He recommends reviewing an excellent presentation/discussion on this topic at:" Sometimes the solution is as simple as tweaking your contact or glass prescriptions, as is the case with many adults. Sometimes it can be resolved with vision correction (eyeglasses), vision therapy, or a combination of both.

Dr. Jeri Schneebeck (Optometrist, F.C.O.V.D), a highly respected Colorado vision expert and owner of Colorado’s only 3D vision lab, knows that this is not just about poor 3D design:  “It’s about vision,” she confirms.  In fact, the day I interviewed her about this Apple issue, she was reminded that she just had a patient complain to her today that she had a significant vision problem with her new iPhone, and had returned it to the store. Zeroing in on understanding this new Apple iPhone parallax issue, another Colorado optometrist, Dr. Jacinta Yeung (OD, MEd/VFL), observes: “I'm not sure I can pinpoint exactly which part of the visual system would ‘cause’ this discomfort. It is probably a combination of factors but it would be nice to evaluate a group of these individuals to see if there is a common weakness in their visual system.”  She has also heard of patients reporting this problem. In the meantime, folks are turning off the effect.

So here we are again, revisiting the vision health issues identified in some of my past posts. Most notably, I want to point our readers to two predictions I made for the year 2013 in my post, Whither eS3D:
  • The vision health issue will struggle to receive the attention it deserves due to inability of the medical community to employ effective marketing and PR strategies.
  • The struggle to debunk 3D mythologies (3D is bad for you, it makes everyone sick, it hurts children) won’t go away. We’ll still have to wrestle with those unfortunate media-generated sound bites for some time.
Yes, we still have our work cut out for us. Mr. Mims was correct in some ways: Poorly designed 3D can cause problems, all by itself. You have to pay attention to these things, Apple. But he was totally off base in terms of the bigger picture of 3D and vision health. These hurtful zombies keep coming back to life. We just have to stop feeding them. Maybe it’s time to bite back.

December 9, 2013

Unlearned Lesson 1

Last week we talked about the recent problem with Apple’s new iPhone iOS7 making people sick. I suggested that the real story is about a lesson not yet learned. In fact, the real message is about two lessons not yet learned. I guess it’s time to re-learn these lessons. In this week's post, we will focus on lesson #1.

Lesson #1: The 3D experience requires thoughtful design
We need reminding about a number of key points here:
  • Companies creating 3D experiences must not be so entranced with their ‘cool’ technology that they forget about the user. The user experience, the human interface, should never come last. It should come first, especially when developing 3D content.
  • Companies creating 3D experiences in their products should consider the science and art of 3D communication, not be oblivious to it. In Clyde DeSouza’s Think in 3D, we see the importance of truly understanding the 3D medium before we deploy it.
Apple has tried to keep their 3D development ideas under wraps for years, but how secret are they, really? I heard beforehand about this one, and future 3D technologies Apple has in development, long ago. They did succeed, however, in secreting their 3D product features well away from the people who might have prevented this all along—the human interface experts, vision experts, and stereo experience designers. Poorly designed 3D can cause problems, all by itself. You have to pay attention to these things. It's a no-brainer.

December 2, 2013

My iPhone Makes Me Sick

Apple’s new iPhone iOS7 is making people sick. All over the country, it’s turning stomachs to the dark side. It has to do with a parallax effect (see this example) now available on backgrounds and in some apps that have been updated to iOS7. My wife has a newer phone than I do, so I tested it out right after I heard about the problem. For me, it was barely noticeable. A non-issue, really. For my wife, it was the same. But for folks with vision issues, in can quickly unravel their world. In fact--it has become so uncomfortable—a few folks are running back to the Apple store or their service provider to turn the new phones in and reclaim their old phones.  There are less drastic measures that can be taken, of course.  Instead of returning the iPhone or resetting it to an older operating system, one can:

        Choose a non-dynamic ‘stills’ background: SettingsàWallpapers & Brightnessà Stills
Turn off the effect: SettingsàGeneralàAccessibilityàReduce MotionàOn

But the increasing number of people getting sick when using the 3D-like parallax effect on the iPhone is not the real story here. The real story is about a lesson not yet learned. In fact, about two lessons not yet learned. I guess it’s time to re-learn them. We will focus on lesson #1 in next week's post.