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Microsoft app caters to the colorblind

Microsoft app caters to the co...
Screenshots from the Color Binoculars app
Screenshots from the Color Binoculars app
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Color Binoculars can be set to compensate for three different types of colorblindness
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Color Binoculars can be set to compensate for three different types of colorblindness
Screenshots from the Color Binoculars app
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Screenshots from the Color Binoculars app

In most cases of colorblindness, people can actually see colors, but they have difficulty telling some of them apart. While there are corrective glasses that help enhance contrast, they cost several hundred dollars. That's why two Microsoft software engineers developed Color Binoculars, a free iOS app that does much the same job.

The program was originally created by Tom Overton (who is colorblind himself) and Tingting Zhu, as part of a company-wide hackathon that took place last year. They took their prototype app to Microsoft Garage, which helps employees bring apps to the market. As a result, it's now available on the App Store.

Color Binoculars can be set to compensate for three different types of colorblindness. In all cases, it uses digital filters to change problematic color combinations that are present in the camera's live preview. The altered image is displayed to the user on the screen, in real time.

Color Binoculars can be set to compensate for three different types of colorblindness
Color Binoculars can be set to compensate for three different types of colorblindness

"Since I have difficulty distinguishing between red and green, our app makes reds brighter and greens darker so that the difference is more obvious," explains Overton. "It replaces difficult color combinations, like red and green, with more easily distinguishable combinations, like pink and green."

There's presently no word on an Android version. In the meantime, users of that system might want to check out the existing DanKam app, although it costs US$3.99.

Source: Microsoft via Fast Company

6 comments
JasonSmith
only for US users, can't even try in the UK :(
Imran Sheikh
Great App.. Bt forced to buy "DanCam" as the free "Color Binoculars" is ios 10 only.
JasonSmith
USA only....not available on UK itunes :(
TomFullery
Imran - can you provide more feedback please?
Gerdjan
I am a microsoft phone user. And totally colorblind.
Imran Sheikh
Sure Tom, as for "color binoculars" they have removed support for iOS 9, so I couldn't check it, for that reason i was forced to Purchase "DanCam" the other app that is mentioned over here. And the really works i was able to see the patterns on clothings which I never saw/noticed previously. The app is good but it seems like it was never updated. Its still does not fit new tall devices that came after iPhone 4 i.e 5,6,7... The AR tech used is also not updated,it could have been more precise. No help in App. And the main issue i faced is that, although i could see color but the app doesn't specify "which color converted into ""which".... I hope "color binoculars" is better and they start supporting iOS 9 Soon..