April 20, 2010
Warning: Watching 3D television could be hazardous to your health.
Samsung has posted on its Australian Web site a long list of potential hazards from watching 3D TVs. The possible maladies range from a stroke or epileptic seizure to eyestrain or motion sickness. The warnings are reminiscent of potential health problems connected to the use of early virtual reality technology. Researchers found the use of such technology could cause eyestrain, motion sickness, nausea, and other physiological problems. Possible psychological effects included hallucinations and disassociation from the real world. Samsung warned that the flashing images or lights contained in 3D TV images or video games could trigger an epileptic seizure or stroke in some people. The consumer electronics maker also listed a number of problems that may require seeing a doctor. Teenagers and children were most susceptible to the symptoms, which included altered vision, lightheadedness, dizziness, involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching, confusion, nausea, loss of awareness, convulsions, cramps, and disorientation. Less serious problems that would require taking a break from watching a 3D TV until the symptoms went away included motion sickness, disorientation, eyestrain, and decreased postural stability. Samsung recommended that people who are in bad physical condition, tired, or have been drinking alcohol should not watch 3D. The company also warned against sitting too close to the screen for long periods of time, which could damage eyesight. Samsung also warned that the glasses that come with the TVs should not be worn for anything other than watching 3D images to avoid damaging a person's eyesight. Also, because 3D TVs could cause disorientation, the company recommended not placing them near open stairwells, cables, balconies, or other objects that may cause injury. While the 3D TV market is in its infancy, the growing amount of content available in 3D is expected to gradually drive sales. Global 3D TV shipments will rise to 78 million units by 2015, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 80% from 4.2 million units this year, according to iSuppli. Revenue will increase to $64.4 billion during the same timeframe, from $7.4 billion this year. Samsung competitors in the emerging market include Panasonic and Sony.
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