Color Binoculars helps color blind individuals to distinguish between colors in their everyday lives. Using your camera, Color Binoculars replaces difficult color combinations, like red and green, with more easily distinguishable combinations, like pink and green.
The app also supports all three major types of color blindness. Whether it’s picking out flowers for a loved one, experiencing the beauty of nature, or choosing matching clothes for your outfit, let Color Binoculars help you take a better look at your world.
Meet the team
"I use this app almost every day. It's something I've always wanted.
Tom Overton, Tingting Zhu
The Color Binoculars team
We came up Color Binoculars during the company-wide hackathon in 2015 to answer a simple question; is it possible to help out color blind individuals with a simple smartphone app?
Color blindness is a common condition affecting around 8% of the population. The challenge of this project was modifying the colors that the camera took in such that color combinations that were difficult for color blind people to distinguish became easier to tell apart.
We had seen glasses with specialized lenses that reportedly aided the color blind, but we were dissatisfied with the high prices and the need for extraneous hardware. We put together a working prototype in less than two days that took the images from the smartphone’s camera and modified them with a filter to eliminate difficult color combinations. By making reds brighter and greens darker, we noticed an immediate improvement in our ability to distinguish colors.
With a successful prototype, we brought the project to the Microsoft Garage to turn it into an app to share with customers. We added support for more types of color blindness, as well as the ability to turn the filter on and off to allow users to compare the real world with our enhanced view. Whether you’re color blind or not, we hope you give Color Binoculars a try; it will help you see the world as you never have before.