Color Binoculars augments reality to help the colorblind

Like most colorblind people, a colorblind Microsoft engineer wanted to be able to distinguish colors better and to get an idea of what the rest of the world saw.  To help him do that, he worked with another Microsoft software engineer to create a new app. Called Color Binoculars, the app is iOS only at this point so I haven't really given it a shot yet.  I'll have to dig out my cranky old iPad and see how it works on that so I can update this with my impressions.

Image from  Microsoft Blog

Image from Microsoft Blog

The app has selections for the most common types of colorblindness and enhances color differences to help colorblind users differentiate colors.  It's like a digital approach to what the EnChroma glasses are supposed to do.  

For now I wanted to put this out there and get more attention on it in case others might find it useful.  You can find out more about it on the Microsoft Blog.

What does color blindness look like?

If you've stumbled across this site by accident or because you are curious about how being color blind affects people, you might appreciate getting a sense of how the world appears to a color blind person. There are a number of sites out there that provide demonstrations of color blindness. Here I'll mention some of the web sites and tools that have been made available to people who are "color normal" and some of these will likely result in another post on tools for the colorblind. At Vischeck tools are made available to allow the color normal to see what the world looks like to a deuteranope, tritanope or protanope. They also have tools available for the color blind to make it easier for them to tell certain colors apart, which I will test and hope to report on later.

Other color blindness simulators: Upload an image and see it as a deuteranope, protanope or tritanope. Mac compatible program that simulates color blindness. Interactive Java simulation. Provides examples of images viewed by different observers. Thanks for the link Joey!

I unfortunately cannot attest to the accuracy of any of these for obvious reasons!

An interesting tool on the market now is provided by Eizo for their LCD displays which are definitely some of the best out there. This tool allows the display to go in to a protanope or deuteranope mode, mimicking how the image would appear to someone afflicted with those more severe color vision defects. It is available on some of their new FlexScan models.