03 April 2007

What is Stereovision

Two Eyes = Two Separate Views!

Human beings generally come equipped with two eyes and one head. Make sure you have these necessary parts before attempting to see 3D. If you have any doubts about your equipment or your ability to see 3D, check out Why Some People Have Trouble Seeing 3D before continuing.

Unlike horses, humans have two eyes located side-by-side in the front of their heads. Thanks to the close side-by-side positioning, each eye takes a view of the same area from a slightly different angle. The two eye views have plenty in common, but each eye picks up visual information the other doesn't. Have you ever compared the different views of your right and left eye? The Eye Hop Game lets you do just that.

Two Eyes = Three Dimensions (3D)!
Each eye captures its own view and the two separate images are sent on to the brain for processing. When the two images arrive simultaneously in the back of the brain, they are united into one picture. The mind combines the two images by matching up the similarities and adding in the small differences. The small differences between the two images add up to a big difference in the final picture! The combined image is more than the sum of its parts. It is a three-dimensional stereo picture.

The word "stereo" comes from the Greek word "stereos" which means firm or solid. With stereo vision you see an object as solid in three spatial dimensions--width, height and depth--or x, y and z. It is the added perception of the depth dimension that make stereo vision so rich and special.

Stereo Vision Has Many Advantages
Stereo vision--or stereoscopic vision --probably evolved as a means of survival. With stereo vision, we can see
WHERE objects are in relation to our own bodies with much greater precision--especially when those objects are moving toward or away from us in the depth dimension. We can see a little bit around solid objects without moving our heads and we can even perceive and measure "empty" space with our eyes and brains.

If You've Got Stereo Vision, Count Your Blessings!
According to the web site of the American Academy of Opthalmology, September, 1996: "many occupations are not open to people who have good vision in one eye only [that means people without stereo vision]"

Here are a few examples of occupations that depend heavily on stereo vision:

  • Baseball player
  • Waitress
  • Driver
  • Architect
  • Surgeon
  • Dentist

Here are just a few examples of general actions that depend heavily on stereo vision:

  • Throwing, catching or hitting a ball
  • Driving and parking a car
  • Planning and building a three-dimensional object
  • Threading a needle and sewing
  • Reaching out to shake someone's hand
  • Pouring into a container
  • Stepping off a curb or step

Are You Sure You've Got Stereo Vision?
It's hard to know what you're missing, if you've never had it. Do you see with both your eyes? Are your two eyes similar or different in sight?

This Is Just A Test -- of Your Stereo Vision System
Are both your eyes turned on and working together as a team? Try this easy test and find out if you are a good candidate for 3D viewing. It's The Framing Game and it only takes a minute!

* To read more about the difference between the side vision of horses and the frontal vision of humans, check out Dr. Cooper's really cool explanation about the evolution of two-eyed vision in carnivorous hunters (humans, lions, tigers, sharks, etc.).

You may have arrived at this page because you were searching for an explanation as to why you can't see Spy Kids 3D or The Adventures of Lava Girl and Shark Boy 3D. Can you see 3D? If you can't, keep reading and find out why?!!

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