New Study Debunks Glasses Claiming to Allow Colorblind People to See Color

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - 2:21PM
Technology
Medical Tech
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - 2:21PM
New Study Debunks Glasses Claiming to Allow Colorblind People to See Color
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If you have a Facebook page, you've probably had a friend share a video of a colorblind person breaking down in tears after trying on EnChroma glasses. In fact, EnChroma has collected some of their favorites into a compilation, and there's even a multi-part "TRY NOT TO CRY" series devoted to the glasses. On the surface, it's a simple, heart-wrenching pitch: watch these people truly see color for the first time.



According to the EnChroma website, "EnChroma color blindness glasses can have a profound impact on how people see their world." They've apparently also claimed that the glasses can "alleviate red-green color blindness, enhancing colors without the compromise of color accuracy."

Unfortunately, a new study has shown that it's all too good to be true.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Granada and published in Optics Express, involved 48 participants and a comprehensive methodology that incorporated multiple tests, including the Fansworth-Munsell test, the Ishihara test, and one test involving the X-Rite Color Chart. Each of these was meant to evaluate a different dimension of the participants vision. According to Phys.org, the researchers also used "the spectral transmittance of the lenses to simulate different observers, which allowed the researchers to evaluate the changes in color appearance."

According to the study's findings, the technology used by the glasses "makes it possible for some individuals using these glasses to distinguish some colors, but to the detriment of others, which will be now confused. Even though a color filter such as that used by the EnChroma glasses may change the appearance of colors, it will never make color vision more similar to a normal observer's vision." In addition, the glasses can't be used to improve one's results in professional screening tests, limiting their practical value and supposedly life-changing abilities.

If you've bought a pair, well... try not to cry.
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