April 23, 2010

The Australian branch of Samsung has put out a health risk warning concerning watching 3D TV on its website. Under the headline “Photosensitive Seizure Warning and Other Health Risks”, it sums up the possible dangers of watching 3D.
In a text that looks like a health warning of possible side effects of medicines the company writes: “Some viewers may experience an epileptic seizure or stroke when exposed to certain flashing images or lights contained in certain television pictures or video games. If you or any of your family has a history of epilepsy or stroke, please consult with a medical specialist before using the 3D function.”

The warning goes on: “Viewing in 3D mode may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain, and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the likelihood of these effects. If you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume until the symptoms have subsided.” So, don ‘t watch 3D TV for too long.

Watching football games with friends can also be dangerous if you are drinking beer. “We do not recommend watching 3D if you are in bad physical condition, need sleep or have been drinking alcohol.” And the place where you put your 3D TV set also requires caution: “Viewing in 3D mode may cause disorientation for some viewers. DO NOT place your television near open stairwells, cables, balconies or other objects that may cause you to injure yourself. “

We are not sure why this health warning only appears on the Australian website of the company; probably because of regulatory issues. Of course all new technologies evoke fear – we’ve seen this happen with trains, planes and automobiles and more recently with mobile phones. After reading this, who will still enjoy their 3D experience at home?