How 3-D Glasses Work

By: Marshall Brain

3-D glasseswith red/blue lenses.
3-D glasseswith red/blue lenses.

Although the 1950s are most often considered the 3-D movie decade, the first feature length 3-D film, "The Power of Love," was made in 1922. Since that time the use of 3-D technology in theaters and on television has drifted in and out of mainstream popularity. But, whether you've used them for the big screen or at home in front of your television, you have to admit 3-D glasses are incredibly cool.

They make the movie or television show you're watching look like a 3-D scene that's happening right in front of you. With objects flying off the screen and careening in your direction, and creepy characters reaching out to grab you, wearing 3-D glasses makes you feel like you're a part of the action - not just someone sitting there watching a movie. Considering they have such high entertainment value, you'll be surprised at how amazingly simple 3-D glasses are.


In this article, we'll take a look at the two most popular types of 3-D glasses in use today. But first, let's take a look at something called binocular vision.