Can the Nintendo 3DS detect eye disorders?
The Nintendo 3DS is getting a warm welcome from US eye specialists, after optometrists have announced that it is a good idea to get your kids to try the 3-D screen, especially if they’re younger than 6. Harm aside, it could help catch vision disorders that have to be caught early to be fixed. This is welcoming for after initial warnings said that it shouldn’t be used by children six or younger because it might harm their immature vision. The new hand-held game device is already available in Japan and goes on sale in the US on March 27 for $250. It comes with two screens like the DS machines, designed to replace. The top screen will be used for 3D images without the need for special glasses, though only new games are available in 3D. A pair of cameras on the 3DS can be used to take 3D pictures. So how can it catch vision disorders? If a child doesn’t see the 3D effect on the 3DS that could indicate a vision disorder, such as amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” or issues that can cause problems with reading. Kids who experience dizziness or discomfort should also be checked.
Today’s 3D viewing systems send different images to the right and left eyes, a technique that creates an illusion of depth. But a lot of the cues we use to perceive depth in our environment are missing. When the eyes are confused it accounts for eyestrain and headaches. These problems are easier to fix if caught before age 6, when the visual system in the brains is more or less done developing. As you would expect, it comes with conflicting opinions. Another group of eye specialists: the ophthalmologists believe that the idea that off-the-shelf 3D games or movies could help screen for vision problems such as amblyopia is “a little perplexing.” With conflicting reports by the specialists themselves, Nintendo’s warning, issued in December, has remained vague. According to them, specialists believe “there is a possibility that 3D images which send different images to the left and right eye could affect the development of vision in small children.” Until we know better, I think kids younger than six should be out playing in the park, not in front of the Nintendo, so there!