Most of us take our eyesight for granted. As long as we can see things clearly enough, whether naturally or with glasses and contacts, we rarely consider what it would be like to not see things for what they actually are. However, for those who are colorblind, what you see may not always be what you get, which is where Color Blind Aid by iDisrupt.com comes in handy.
Designed to help those with red-green blindness, Color Blind Aid works with the camera in your iPhone to display real-time video of your surroundings. Red objects will flash blue, while green objects will flash yellow as a way to indicate exactly which color you are looking at if colorblind. Users can adjust the color-detecting sensitivity by using the color-coded sliders at the bottom of the screen. This becomes useful when adjusting to differeing conditions, such as indoor or outdoor, as they fluctuate in vibrancy.
However, Tony Libby, who came up with the idea to create an app geared toward helping the colorblind, does not know anyone who is actually colorblind. Libby took his idea and put it out there for the public and sales have been going better than expected, he said, especially internationally. By getting his product out in the open, he hopes to receive feedback from actual colorblind users in order to improve his product according to their needs.
To help, up-and-coming artist Maxwell Farinato took Color Blind Aid for a test run. As an artist, being colorblind can sometimes be a bit of a hassle when trying to find the right hue, and as an avid gamer, puzzle games often take the back burner because most require color-matching skills. Libby’s intentions with Color Blind Aid are meant to help just this, allowing users to differentiate colors while shopping, play video games, or coordinate outfits.
For Farinato, testing out Color Blind Aid resulted in mixed feelings. For instance, he made the observation that you need really good lighting in order to detect an objects color.
“It seems you need really good lighting or else it will not pick up on anything. Sometimes, it even flashed specks of blue and yellow on things I knew were distinctly neither red nor green,” Farinato said.
While perusing Wal-mart, Farinato used Color Blind Aid up against a flower arrangement he knew was distinctly shades of red and green, yet no blue or yellow flashed. However, when carelessly holding it face down toward the floor, yellow flashed despite the white surface.
“I turned up the sensitivity on both blue and yellow the highest it would go just to see if that helped, but instead it only made the colors flicker really quickly and suddenly when it did detect red or green, but it flashed so fast that I wasn’t sure whether blue, yellow or both were flashing,” Farinato continued.
“Despite all this, though, it worked beautifully in direct light. I tested it on my friend’s red shoes in the sunlight and it flashed blue very clearly. If it could just be fixed to do this in every case, I think it would be a great thing to have around,” Farinato concluded.
Based on his findings, it seems that Color Blind Aid holds much potential, and with the developer’s openness and willingness to accept feedback, this app surely has room to grow, but he needs users to help make it the best tool it can be.
Have you downloaded Color Blind Aid? Share your input here or email iDisrupt.com with your comments.
Color Blind Aid requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with the iPhone only.