Research says stereoscopic 3D viewing on a smartphone can cause eye problems and headaches

Research says stereoscopic 3D viewing on a smartphone can cause eye problems and headaches
Have you noticed that when you use the glasses-free 3D display on the HTC EVO 3D or the LG Optimus 3D/LG Thrill, that you get a headache after a while, or when viewing the screen from a certain angle? According to a report in the Journal of Vision, this is normal and more serious eye problems can develop from staring at these stereoscopic screens.

The report, written by an Optometrist named Professor Martin Banks, was based on a test of 24 adults using a 3D smartphone. The test revealed that close viewing of a 3D stereoscopic display caused discomfort when users focused on the images closer to the screen. Images that appeared to be in the background caused fewer problems.  When looking at 3D in a movie theater, things are reversed because of the distance of the screen from your eyes, and the discomfort there comes from background images.

Researchers are suggesting that a new study be set up that would include more participants including children, many of whom are using the same 3D technology found in smartphones with the Nintendo 3DS mobile game player. The latter device and the HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D/LG Thrill all have a control that allows the user to reduce the severity of a 3D image. Staring too long at a 3D display, or viewing the screen at a specific angle can cause discomfort, visual fatigue and headaches.

More 3D flavored smartphones and even some tablets with 3D functionality are bound to be launched in the next year.
If this technology is to be more than just a fad, it would be important for manufacturers to continue to seek ways to offer 3D images with less potential damage to the eyes and with fewer headaches.

source: DaiilyMail via Pocket-Lint

Related phones

Thrill 4G
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor TI OMAP 4430, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(6.00h talk time)
  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, Dual-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 1 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1730 mAh(6.00h talk time)



1. Laurynas unregistered

Not a big surprise.

2. andro unregistered

I must admit after using a nintendo 3ds for a period of twenty mins or so i did noticed how tired my eyes had become,i'd have say it was the tiredness of 3-4 hours of normal computer use. My girlfriend couldnt handle the 3d at all,her eyes were sore almost immediately from 3d viewing.

3. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

Showing customers the Evo3D will land you either of these two reactions... "Dayyyum bro, that s**t be poppin! Look at this s**t man, thats hot! I'm gettin me one of these yo." or... *having looked at the screen for 1.5 seconds "Nah, that makes my eyes go crazy. Why would anyone want 3D on their phone anyways, thats just stupid man..." Never fails

5. Spear unregistered

Or a combonation of the two...

8. rican

Posts: 132; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

hahahaha that statement is right on point

4. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I guess that makes sense. I have a HTC Evo 3D since it came out on June 24th. I have still yet to get a headache. I mean I use the 3D in short bursts. The longest I have used it nonstop would be 30 min. I really don't have the time to sit & watch the whole Green Hornet 3D movie but from the 30 min bursts I felt fine. I guess if I spend hours at a time using the 3D then I guess it will give me a headache. (Don't know, haven't reached that limit yet.) It's with anything that you abuse, you eat too much candy you get a cavity, you eat too much bacon you get a clogged artery or worse, you drink & use too much drugs you die like Amy Winehouse. I guess only use the 3D in moderation & you should be fine! I have a HTC Evo 3D & I don't have any of the problems this article states. So people can live with 3D on their phones. Now if you are a fool who consistently keeps getting headaches from 3D & you still haven’t found a way to cope then that is on you.

11. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Talk about hypocrite. You where somebody who said antennagate was such a big deal because a call may be dropped and the iPhone is of bad quality. Then when something comes up about android and your health its no big deal. Even though I am an iPhone user and have never experienced antenna issues its a huge deal but your health who cares. You need to be cutting edge right because 3d is the future. If this was about an apple product you would jump. It won't ever be an apple product because they take there time test the product and make sure it won't damage your health. They new about a slight antenna problem but they also knew it wasn't a big deal. Android should really slow down and stop making phones of bad quality to just become cutting edge. There jealous of apple and are trying to one up them and things like this happen.

13. rican

Posts: 132; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

but yet again google did not make the phone its HTC

14. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Im sayings its an android phone which it is. I know htc makes it which is a huge problem with android. Anyone can make a android device and it can be bad. Only apple can make a ios device which means the software is made for the device. I am not saying its googles fault i know it the manufacture's fault.

16. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

The reason i say android and not htc is be ause other companies have 3d so its unfair to single out htc.

21. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Dude you are so narrow minded. Antennagate was because of faulty equipment. 3D is something that the individual subjects themselves to. 3D is only bad is you abuse it. Antennagate was just bad design. So there goes your stupid Apple comment on how Apple tests everything so it doesn't damage your heath. What?!? lol That is funny biophone. Apple's poor design is not the same as abuse of 3D. With the 3D you can shut it off if you like, with Antennagate that is something that you could never turn off. All you need to do is as Steve Jobs says & hold your iPhone correctly. lol biophone that is such a stupid argument. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. There is no correlation what so ever. iSheep always hoping around not making sense. lol

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

biophone.. 3d is a feature that can be turned on or off on an otherwise exellent piece of hardware. antennagate was a huge design flaw by a company who's responce was "your holding it wrong". And then after weeks of bad press issued bumpers to "some" of their customers instead of fixing the design problem. apples and oranges man.. apples and oranges.

25. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

There shouldn't be a feature on a phone that people can hurt themselves with normal use aka watch a movie. People should be upset by this but there not of course. However people are outraged if you grip your phone hard you can lose a bar or two. I know right apples and androids.

12. rican

Posts: 132; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

damn bro did you really have to throw in the amy winehouse thing in there. thats f**ked up

23. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

just saw that too. Dam bro, can you say too soon?

24. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I am sorry. I was making a point of abuse & no better way to make my point then what just happened with Amy Winehouse. It's a sad story, but it was also a needless death. She didn't have to die, but she didn't take her life seriously. You only have one life in this Earth & if you are going to throw it away because you are partying WAY TOO HARD the that is on her. It's not like she was murdered or something, this was self inflicted. This is more sad than tragic!

6. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

I think it has to do with the frame rate. 1080p at 30 frames per second for 2D is great, but 3D content at 30 frames will cause headaches and fatigue mainly because our brains are still able to detect the individual frames and have to work harder to stitch the video together.. I think they're working on 48 to 60 frames per second to alleviate the strain on our eyes.

7. Yo unregistered

I'm one of those that can't even look at the screen for a few moments before my eyes start giving me problems. I can watch a movie with the glasses fine and I can play video games all day with no issue but when it comes to this glasses free 3D stuff, I can't handle it.

9. Phonecall01 unregistered

I have the 3D and I does take some getting use to. But once you find the correct distance to look at the screen, It's a lot of fun to play with. Definitely not for everyone. Also doesn't do too well on closeups. This youtube video looks amazing the EVO 3D:

10. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I feel 3d was rushed way to soon. This is a theme with android of late. Perfect your products like apple does android don't waste you time with the spec wars.

17. Heatfan316 unregistered

Typical arrogant fanboy, I know because the iPhone is just so much better then the evo3d yeah right.Your just mad that apple didn't come out with 3d first, yeah I know you hate 3d that's what your going to say next, bulls**t your a hater.

18. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I am not a fanboy as i do like android. I dont like the fact that androids a being released with 3d that can be harmful to your health. Is that so wring to expect such a thing from a phone. Your right i am mad a company produces an unsafe product so that makes me a fanboy because i am upset apple didnt come out with this first.

19. Heatfan316 unregistered

Your right i see your point

15. EA unregistered

Own the evo 3d. i bought it because of its specs not the 3d. i hardly use the 3d futures but when i do the 3d does mess with my eyes and it eventually leds to a headache.

20. yungmel0

Posts: 39; Member since: Jun 18, 2011

I also have the 3D should I trade it in for the Photon 4G next week or stick with this???

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.