Seeing life in colour
A specially-designed pair of glasses could help people with colour blindness to see all the colours of the rainbow.
The California-based start-up EnChroma, whose main objective is improving the quality of life for people with colour blindness, has developed a new range of high-tech glasses that enhance colours and beautify the worlds of the colour-blind.
These glasses, intended for all people with colour blindness, have polycarbonate lenses that filter certain wavelengths that create confusion among the primary colours. They provide improved perception of spectral colour and make colours appear brighter, more vivid, faster and with more precision.
There is no medical cure for colour blindness because it is not an illness. Colour blindness is a hereditary genetic anomaly that modifies the perception of colour. Discovered by John Dalton in 1798, it is transmitted to children through the mother. It affects around 8% of men and 0.5% of women, almost 300 million individuals throughout the world, in varying degrees and forms.
Like many other inventions, EnChroma's breakthrough came about by chance. The California-based start-up was working on laser safety eyewear, a product intended for surgeons. However, a small incident caused the glasses to be repurposed. A colour-blind friend of EnChroma co-founder Donald McPherson asked to try out the glasses and discovered that he was seeing a new range of colours for the first time in his life. The inventors pursued this new track: research lasted for 10 years.