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Augmented Reality just blew my mind – a great insight into colour blindness

I’ve been excited by the potential of Augmented Reality since Ben Adderson (blog | twitter) first showed me Layar a couple of years ago. The sort of heads-up experience we’ve seen in the movies and the military has become available – with the added bonus of location awareness. The creative use of this technology has…

I’ve been excited by the potential of Augmented Reality since Ben Adderson (blog | twitter) first showed me Layar a couple of years ago. The sort of heads-up experience we’ve seen in the movies and the military has become available – with the added bonus of location awareness. The creative use of this technology has kicked up a gear recently but an article I chanced upon via twitter this evening has just blown my mind.

I am colour blind, as were my mum and my aunt. Although I’m aware that I can’t differentiate between certain colours as easily as other people, it’s always been very difficult to describe the experience to anyone else. I’ve been trying for thirty years, and never really come close.

Until now.

The article considers whether Van Gogh was colour blind by simulating his paintings through the eyes of someone with the condition. Fascinating stuff. But it also mentions the author’s iPhone app, Chromatic Vision Simulator. It’s an Augmented Reality app which shows a view of the colour blind world. To give you some idea of how it works, here are some views around my kitchen. The top image is unprocessed, and the bottom image is close to what I see – in other words, to me, the two images look the same.

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I’m delighted because I now have a tool to explain my colour experience. And my wife now really gets why I’m no good at matching colours…

Thanks to Kazunori Asada ( blog | twitter ) for this fantastic technology.

Comments

Luke J

Luke J

Uncanny, we just submitted an app that does precisely this… and some more: highlighting problematic colours etc. Crazy timing!

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fivecats

fivecats

Keir: there’s really a way to distinguish between red and greed? We could use some of that over here in the US.

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gtm12

gtm12

Yes – do you remember me doing that experiment with wearing one tinted contact lens? Had that effect. Impractical for daily use, however 🙁

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Keir

Keir

By the way, isn’t there a set of glasses with one lens tinted green, which causes some of the colours to scintillate thus allowing you to distinguish between red and greed.

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Keir

Keir

Funny – about eight years ago after talking to you about colourblindness I tried to produce some pictures that would look attractive and interesting to the colourblind, but would look like a meaningless garish mess to those with perfect colour vision. Unfortunately I don’t have the results around anymore I think.

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