Imagine how different the world would look without colour. The different shades that dress every season in vibrant hues wouldn’t be as magical, and everyday tasks like obeying traffic lights would be extremely troublesome. This colourless world you’re imagining is a reality for one in twelve men and one in 200 women.
Thanks to awesome advances in science, Berkeley, CA-based company EnChroma found a resource that can help people see more colour, and the device is more accessible than you think.
Watch people experiencing colours for the very first time in the player above!
Like many valuable creations, the discovery was accidental. After learning that surgeons were stealing protective glasses from the operating room to use as shades, glass scientist Dr. Don McPherson decided to rock a pair himself. When McPherson put the glasses on, he noticed that the world seemed more colourful. But, since the doctor was not colourblind, he had no idea of the power the glasses held… until his friend borrowed them during a game of frisbee.
“My friend borrowed my glasses and said, this is a quote, ‘Dude I can see the cones!’ and he was referring to the fluorescent orange marker cones that define the field,” McPherson told CNBC.
Watch two colourblind brothers see each other in colour for the first time:
McPherson teamed up with multi-disciplinary scientist Andrew Schmeder, and after years of research and clinical trials they co-founded EnChroma in 2010. The company has sold nearly 30,000 sun and indoor glasses to colourblind people around the world, costing about $300 each.
Sadly, the glasses do not work for everyone – only 80% of users will experience a difference. But don’t be too discouraged, EnChroma is working on new technology to benefit all types of colour deficiencies. McPherson said they are also in the means of developing contact lenses.
(Photo: Hafiz Issadeen via Flickr)