Researchers found that watching stereo 3D displays causes ‘visual discomfort and fatigue’.
Responding to "public concern about potential adverse effects associated with prolonged viewing of stereo imagery," a research team from the University of California, Berkeley reported their findings in the academic Journal of Vision.
In the "The zone of comfort: Predicting visual discomfort with stereo displays" article, Prof. Martin S. Banks described the impact of so-called "resevergence accommodation conflicts" in viewing stereo displays which caused discomfort. In other words, watching 3D hurts your eyes.
The "resevergence accommodation conflicts" relates to the fact that the viewer must focus their eyes on the display while the eyes must converge to a different degree than is natural in order to perceive the 3D effect.
Close up displays were found to be worse than displays further away, such as a movie screen. Also 3D effects which aimed to place content behind the screen for far off displays was found to be less comfortable to 3D content in front of the screen.
The report also discussed the findings for a range of devices from mobile, desktop displays, television and cinema. Hopefully research such as this will inform equipment manufacturers as to how best to avoid 3D eyesore.