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Colour blindness simulator for OSX

05/22/07 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.michelf.com/projects/sim-daltonism/

This is an interesting one. "Sim Daltonism" is a simulator that tries to show how people who are colour blind see the world. The concept is relatively simple: a small window contains a colour-corrected version of whatever the mouse pointer is over that simulates what a colour blind person would see. As there are multiple forms of colour blindness, it has multiple settings including four red/green ones.

I have one of the red/green colour blind issues so some shades of red and green look identical. From what I understand, this is a remarkably common problem amongst men although rather less so amongst women. Curiously when I look at them, I can tell the difference due to context. For example, traffic lights (despite common opinion) are easily distinguishable as they use very different shades: the red may be bright but the green is almost white. Raspberry bushes on the other hand are almost impossible to differentiate from the raspberries as the red and green shades are identical; the red of the fruit just disappears into the green of the leaves.

Trying to describe the difference between the colours is almost impossible. I know red is red and green is green, but when the two shades collide whichever colour I see first is the defining colour of the overall object. In the above example of the raspberry bush, I suppose had I seen the raspberries first the entire bush would have seemed red, much like a maple tree in late autumn.

So that's the background. My test for Sim Dalton was simple: the colour corrected picture should look identical to the source. After all, if it's a correct representation of the source, then it ought to be what I've already seeing. However it's not. Using the deuteranopia filter in the picture below, the number counter on NewsFire is a pretty bright red which is where I find the colour blindness tends to hit me. The colour corrected version looks more green to me and less intense, but what's important is that they're quite different. I get similar results when using the protanopia filter instead.

It's a neat program but, alas, it doesn't represent the world I see.

(Via Daring Fireball)


1 comment

Comment from: ElTwo [Visitor]  

Neat. To me, the images on the left are all similar shades of yellow, compared with the orange cone and green duck on the right.

05/25/07 @ 18:25
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