EnChroma helps the colorblind see the world differently
Colorblindness is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a primarily genetic condition, found in one in twelve men and one in two hundred women, that hinder the individual’s ability to see color. Colorblind people can still see colors, but the vibrancy and distinctiveness of those colors are reduced. This condition can affect color perception in a variety of ways, with the most common type of colorblindness being red-green.
The eye is a complicated organ, and much of its function is dependent on the way it processes light. Cone cells are the part of the eye that allow us to see color. There are three types of cone cells, each responding to a different frequency of light: red, green, or blue. The genes that control the development of these cone cells are called photopigments, and any abnormality or damage in these genes can cause colorblindness.
In a red-green colorblind person, for example, the red and green photopigments would overlap more than they should, making it impossible for the individual to see those two colors the way most people perceive them. Instead of the vibrant hues associated with red and green, someone with red-green colorblindness would see both as a dull brown or gray color.
Created by Don McPherson and Andrew Schmeder, EnChroma solves the problem of colorblindness by using a lens that separates overlapping red and green cones. These lenses work by filtering out certain wavelengths of light that interfere with the perception of color, helping those with red-green colorblindness see the world more clearly. Moving videos of colorblind individuals trying EnChroma glasses for the first time have gone viral. It is easy to see in these videos what an incredible difference it makes to see the world in color.