Most types of disability have some forms of adaptive aid associated with them.  Colorblindness has been near alone in the fact that if you had it there was very little you could do to adapt to it – apart from changing your environment to avoid problems.  Some games have long had colorblind modes built into them that whilst they can help are rarely ideal and will only work for that specific game.

The University of East Anglia has been researching this and has spun out a commercial company called Spectral Edge that has created a technology that enhances TV images in real time to make them clearer for color blind watchers.  In effect a decent color blind mode for all your TV.  Its a process that has been relatively well understood for a while but getting it to work in real time has been problematic as has preserving viewing for those without colorblindness.

Spectral Edge think they’ve cracked it and are now trying to persuade TV manufacturers to licence and integrate the technology in to main stream televisions.  They confident enough to be offering an Android and iOS app demonstrating the filters on static images.  The technology seems to work well on these static images and the ability of the app to filter your own images is interesting.  The key will be taking this filter and adding it seamlessly onto a video feed on your TV and perhaps into your PC monitor, smartphone and tablet.

If Spectral Edge can persuade TV manufacturers to use their technology we will potentially see TVs with it available in late 2015.


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