VR and health

Discussion in 'VR and AR' started by green.pixel, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. green.pixel

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    What are the risks, especially WRT eyes?

    How much research there is about the long-term cumulative affects?
     
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  2. Alexko

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    As far as I'm aware there's no indication, or reason to believe, that it materially differs from using a regular LCD regarding the eyes. I'm not aware of any long-term research either. There's a lot of literature on cybersickness, however.
     
  3. AlphaWolf

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    Using a regular LCD 2inches from your face.
     
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  4. cheapchips

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    There's coralation between short distance focusing and increases in miopia. There isn't any proven causation though.

    On top of that, you're not focusing on an LCD 2 inches from your face. The focal plane is at distance. As far as your eyes are concerned, you're looking at something at a distance at indoor light levels. The amount of light output by the lcds is tiny compared to being outdoors.

    Edit: The whole "sitting close to the screen is bad for you" stems from the early days of CRT TVs, where there was a small risk from the screen coating. It wasn't an issue with more modern CRTs, and doesn't apply to LCDs.
     
    #4 cheapchips, Jul 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
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  5. AlphaWolf

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    Many times it has been said there is no difference between two things only to discover that there is a difference, it just wasn't immediately apparent. Perhaps there is no significant difference but I would like to see some long term study results.

    No. The screen coating was not the only issue.
     
  6. cheapchips

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    It was a single model of GE TV in the 60's that output of 100000 times the recommended safe level of radiation, which was then recalled. It was related to the interaction between the electron beam and the coating they used. Thus the "don't sit too close to the TV" myth was born.

    There's no physical basis for assuming the LCD could cause any issue. Of course we could discover something but in what ballpark exactly? It's not going to be radiation. It's not going to be short distance focus issues. It's not going to be retinal damage from high light levels.

    When we get to varifocus HMDs I do wonder if a badly calibrated one could cause some issues. Likewise with HDR displays.
     
  7. AlphaWolf

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    There is plenty of basis for suggesting that long term exposure to anything poses some sort of health risk.
     
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  8. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    True - long term exposure to life has, to date, always resulted in death.
     
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  9. xz321zx

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  10. cheapchips

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    There's plenty of basis to suggest that long term exposure to anything increases the risk of sexiness.
     
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  11. KimB

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    There are two main effects that might be of concern: eyestrain and limited focus.

    Eyestrain can come from the fact that our eyes have multiple ways of determining distance, not just binocular vision. One of those ways is through focus: the muscles which control the focus of the lens in our eyes is reported to our brain and contributes to our feeling of distance. I was viscerally demonstrated this fact during an optics lab where I had to find the distance of a virtual image (a real image is an image projected on a display: a virtual image is one you see through a lens). Because of the setup, we had to find the distance to the virtual image by looking through the apparatus with one eye, and it was generally pretty easy to determine the distance to within a few centimeters without any hints coming from either size or binocular vision.

    3D vision inherently has issues with this because it provides one signal (binocular vision) which presents an image at one distance, and a different signal (focus) which presents an image at a different distance. This discrepancy can confuse our brains leading to eyestrain as our eyes have difficulty focusing at the right distance due to the contradictory feedback we're getting.

    The second issue is a potential issue with computer displays in general: lack of focal range. If we do not move our eyes around and focus on things at different distances, the muscles which control focus in the eye can weaken, which can cause various issues. This is why it's really good if you work (or play for long periods) on a computer display to not have a wall immediately behind your computer, so you can look behind the display and focus on things at different distances periodically.

    Neither of these problems is likely to present issues long-term unless you play VR for multiple hours per day. But in any case the issues you experience are far more likely to be short-term than long term. Things like headaches and pain in/around the eyes, as well as having difficulty focusing when you step away from the VR.

    Oh, and there's one last complication, but it's one that has to do with any computer display, not just VR: they can fuck with your sleep cycle. And having a bad sleep cycle causes all sorts of health issues. So best to keep on top of that and make sure you're getting enough sleep. For some people, avoiding screens late at night can be important, and some people think that using nighttime filters which redden the display might help.
     
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  12. green.pixel

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    There is reportedly lots of evidence of risk from exposure to both extremely low freq and radiofrequency EMFs well within current official safety levels.
     
  13. Michellstar

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    Not the marriage, though
     
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  14. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    Says a voice of bitter experience.. .
     
  15. cheapchips

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    Good quality research? Care to add it to the thread.
     
  16. AlphaWolf

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    And you can add the research backing up your claims and we will have something to talk about.
     
  17. cheapchips

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    I listed things there was no evidence of their being harm to eye sight from, sitting close to the TV being one of them. You can take the AAO's word on that if you like.

    https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/can-close-tv-viewing-damage-eyes

    I'm not dismissive of the possibility of VR having potential side effects. I did want some good reading from @green.pixel, since there always lots of pseudo scientific stuff about electromagnetism.

    KimB had some interesting points I thought. I'd forgotten about the who blue light thing and sleep. Mostly as have young twins I'm perminatly knackard. You could shine blue light in my eyes for hours before bedtime and I'd still be off in seconds. :)
     
  18. KimB

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    That evidence is generally bullshit. The kinds of studies that present these results are generally of low quality with small sample sizes, or are studying systems that are very different from the real world (e.g. tissue cultures).
     
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  19. green.pixel

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    Don't know how much "quality" it is, but the the biggest one I know of is this report from a couple of thousand papers:

    http://www.bioinitiative.org/table-of-contents/

     
    #19 green.pixel, Aug 1, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  20. KimB

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