Microsoft’s new iOS app helps the colorblind – Mashable

A simple piece of software promises to help some of us regain something many take for granted: the ability to see the full spectrum of colors around us.  

Although there are already lenses that help colorblind people to see more color, a team at Microsoft Garage wanted to come up with a free solution that you can use on your smartphone or tablet. Enter: Color Binoculars. 

“Since I have difficulty distinguishing between red and green, our app makes reds brighter and greens darker so that the difference is more obvious,” Tom Overton, a colorblind Microsoft engineer who helped develop the app with Tingting Zhu, said in a blog post. “It replaces difficult color combinations, like red and green, with more easily distinguishable combinations, like pink and green.”

Image: microsoft garage

The refreshingly simple app offers three viewing modes — Red/Green, Green/Red and Blue/Yellow — and doesn’t allow for taking photos, as it’s meant to be a color window to the world rather than a photo app. 

Most colorblind people are aware of their status, but if you have suspicions that your color perception might be off, you can try the popular Ishihara color blindness test. Of course, it’s always best to consult a doctor for a medical vision evaluation, but using that test, some users have left reviews claiming that the app helped them see distinctions in colors better. 

Color Binoculars is available now for iOS as a free download. 


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