nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Technological aids against color-blindness

I was surprised by quite a bit in this-- I knew there were color amplifying phone apps and glasses, and that they worked because many(?) color-blind people had some ability to see the colors they had trouble with, but the story is more complicated and interesting than that.

The glasses were discovered by accident-- surgeons needed eye protection from the high-powered lasers they were using, and the best way to do that was to block the specific colors of the lasers-- and the glasses which did that resulted in a technicolor world that the surgeons liked living in.

In some types of color-blindness, the problem isn't the absence of color-sensing cones, it's that the cones have too much overlap in which wavelengths they're sensitive to, so filtering out those wavelengths improves the person's ability to differentiate color.

Color vision tests don't necessarily measure the right thing-- glasses which improve the ability to pass the tests don't necessarily improve the ability to see colors in the world.

Improving color vision is even more important than it sounds-- teachers are apt to treat children who can't manage the "simple" task of distinguishing and naming colors as generally unintelligent.

Even someone who's figured out how to work around color-blindness like the author of the article finds that life is a lot easier when green is vivid-- so much is color-coded.

It's quite possible that I haven't found all the good stuff in the article, so you might want to read it.

Link thanks to Geek Press.

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