Purpose. Stereoscopic 3D displays heighten perceived immersion but elevate viewing symptoms for some viewers. The present study measured prevalence and magnitude of perceived immersion and viewing symptoms in stereoscopic viewing, and related them to viewer's characteristics and viewing position.
Methods. Two hundred three teens and adults viewed a movie in 2D or 3D while sitting at different angles and distances. Their prior viewing symptoms, as well as visual and physical discomfort immediately before and after viewing, were measured with questionnaires. They were also asked to report their perceived immersion after the viewing.
Results. Twelve percent and twenty-one percent of 2D and stereoscopic 3D participants reported increases of measured symptoms during and/or after viewing. Stereoscopic 3D viewing incurred greater and more frequent perception of blurred vision, double vision, dizziness, disorientation, and nausea than 2D viewing. Reported ocular and physical symptoms were negatively correlated to perceived immersion in 3D viewing. Older viewers (age 46 years or older) reported greater ocular, visual, and motion sickness symptoms in 2D viewing, and younger viewers (age 24–34 years) reported greater visual and motion sickness symptoms in 3D viewing. Sitting in an oblique position attenuated perceived immersion but also reduced motion symptoms in 3D viewing. Prior viewing symptoms in 2D tasks also predicted ocular and physical symptoms in 2D but less so in 3D viewing.
Conclusions. Stereoscopic 3D viewing provides greater immersion, but it can also lead to heightened visual and motion sickness symptoms. Viewers with prior symptoms in viewing TV and computer screen are not more likely to have increased ocular and physical symptoms in 3D viewing. Young viewers incurred higher immersion but also greater visual and motion sickness symptoms in 3D viewing; both will be reduced if a farther distance and a wider viewing angle are adopted.