The Amazing Technology Behind Colour Blindness Glasses

By Libby Jane Charleston
on 20 March 2017

An estimated 300 million people worldwide are colour blind – men are more likely to be colour blind (eight per cent) while only 0.5 per cent of women are affected.

It’s more accurate to say that most colour blind people are only partially colour blind, as they can still see colours, but they only see a narrow range of colours.

For decades, there have been glasses that claim to help the colour blind. They typically use a pink or reddish-tinted lens but it’s no different from looking through a pane of glass that’s coloured red or pink.

But now there are colour blind glasses that feature sophisticated technology that has had astounding results.

EnChroma CEO Andy Schmeder told Women Love Tech, in the past, colour blind glasses have not been very effective.

“They can help the colour blind do better on colour vision screening tests like the Ishihara test. However, such glasses simply create more contrast in colours because they emphasize one colour at the expense of another. The colour blind aren’t truly seeing more hues of colour and the glasses distort the colours they already see just fine. Essentially, they are similar to looking through a coloured pane of glass,” Schmeder said.

EnChroma has revolutionised the technology behind colour blind glasses by creating a special patent-pending optical technology known as ‘multi-notch’ filtering.

“Red-green colour blindness is caused by an overlap of the green and red cones in the retina of the eye. EnChroma created the ‘multi-notch’ filtering that removes small slices of light where the red and green cones in the retina overlap the most for the colour blind,” Schmeder said.
“This re-establishes a more accurate ratio of light entering the three photopigments in the eye so the colour blind enjoy a more normal spectral response. The result is colour blind people experience enhanced colour, an improved ability to differentiate hues of colours, and better depth and detail perception.”

The EnChroma glasses were researched through three US National Institute of Health (NIH) research grants and 10 years of R&D and clinical studies using scientific colour vision tests such as the D-15.

“The glasses enhance the vibrancy and saturation of certain colours and improve colour discrimination, depth and detail perception without distorting the colours the colour blind already see well.”

“We hear from parents who tell us their child is now more confident in school because they can better see the colours in a social studies map or tell the difference when their teacher writes in red, green or purple marker on the board,” Schmeder said.

“It’s amazing to see artists who use colour every day gain a better understanding or appreciation of the colours they routinely use. Some people see the red hair or green eye colour of a loved one or are simply transfixed that the grass in the yard of the home they’ve been living in all their life has multiple hues of green in it instead of just one monochromatic dull green colour.”

You can take the online colour blindness test to learn what type of red-green colour blindness you have and to learn the odds of EnChroma glasses helping you.


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