By Doug Goldring on Sun, 06/19/2011
Most of you know the drill by now. You head off to the movies, sit through some previews, and then the screen lights up with a message to please don your clunky 3D glasses (the word clunky probably does not appear in the message). You slip them over your eyes and suddenly images start leaping off the screen at you. The truth is, when done properly, the effect is rather remarkable. For most of us. For some of you, like my wife, that eye popping imagery is followed almost immediately by eye splitting headaches, discomfort, and even nausea. For an estimated 30 million of you, the latest 3D effect can be more terrifying than anything you will see on the screen. Which is why I could never go to a 3D movie with my wife…until now.
I will admit that when I initially received the PR email about the new 2D-glasses, I was certain it must have been some kind of joke. I mean, really, most movies are
already made in 2 dimensions, so where was the need for something like this. Then I read the press release and headed over to the website (www.2d-glasses.com) to learn more. What I found there was an incredible idea that left me murmuring about how someone really should have thought of this already…but they did not.
What these glasses do is take the 3D image and condense it into a 2D image. In other words, they allow viewers who cannot normally tolerate the 3D experience to see movies with their friends without either enduring excruciating pain, or forcing your party to settle on a non-3D movie in order to suit your needs.
So, let’s back up for a minute and take a look at what is really going on here. All of this (including the image to the left) comes directly from the www.2d-glasses.com website. In order to truly understand the glasses, you first need to understand how 3D movie technology works. The movie is actually recorded using two images, which are shown side by side. As a result, if you were to view the movie without any glasses, it would just look like a blurred mess, with images overlaid on top of one another. So, going to a movie and simply foregoing the 3D experience is not a realistic option. When you wear 3D glasses, the glasses direct the appropriate images to your eyes and brain. To do this, the lenses serve as a filter, directing one set of images to one side, and the other set of images to the other. This separation of images is what allows your brain to interpret the image in that eye-popping three dimensions.
That brings us to the 30 million people who cannot tolerate this image, and must either suffer in silence or pay an exorbitant amount of money to sit through a blurry image. The solution to this problem is the 2D glasses. What they do is serve as an alternate filter. Like the 3D glasses, they also separate the images. Unlike the 3D glasses, however, these 2D glasses filter the same image to both sides. In other words, both lenses block the same image and allow the same image to reach both eyes. This means your brain does not receive the separate signals being sent by the movie. Instead, both sides receive the same image, which is ultimately translated into a standard two dimensional image.
Now that you know how they work, let’s take a look at the glasses themselves. They are not necessarily what I would call stylish, with the big black frames and weirdly not quite polarized lenses. But that is not really the point. No one in your movie is going to be looking terrifically stylish, as they will all be wearing identical looking 3D glasses. These 2D glasses look identical to the 3D glasses they give you in the movies. In factetting them side-by-side, you really cannot tell which is which at all. Still, style is hardly the point of these glasses.
Until now, all of this has just been words on a page. The proof with these glasses has to be in the pudding. So, my wife and I headed to the movies to give these a real world test…with the Green Lantern. Of course, I enjoyed the movie in fabulous 3D. My wife, on the other hand, slipped on the 3D glasses and almost immediately removed them. Barely a minute into the experience, she was already complaining that the 3D effects were already giving her a headache. So at least she was vindicated in her refusal to see 3D movies with me until now. My wife pulled the 2D glasses out of her purse, and was able to enjoy the rest of the movie, with no complaints. Sure. she may have missed out on some of the more eye popping effects, but the that was not really the point.
The only real drawback I saw with these glasses is that 3D movies are simply more expensive than regular movies. So, even though they work exactly as advertised, you still end up paying extra for a movie without enjoying the added benefit. Again, though, that is really not the point of using these glasses.
For my wife and I, the 2D glasses gave new life to date night. I enjoy 3D movies, and she obviously does not. Which made it extremely difficult for us to choose a movie on which we could agree. That decison is made much easier now. No longer do we need to worry about how she will react to the 3D effect. With the 2D glasses in tow, we are both able to enjoy the entire movie together. And that is the real point here.
The 2D glasses are available from www.2D-glasses.com for $9.99 per pair.