An illustration of a human brain recognizing colors from his eye

Life in Full Color with Samsung’s SeeColors App

Dec 01. 2017

Nearly 300 million people around the world have color vision deficiency or, as it’s more commonly known, color blindness. However, many are not aware of their condition. And if they do know, they may not realize whether they are missing out.

According to Professor Klara Wenzel, who heads up the Department of Mechatronics, Optics and Mechanical Engineering Informatics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, some color vision deficient people suffer from an inferiority complex because of their condition and simply “being different.”

“We want to help people with color vision deficiency to see the billions of colors that the world has to offer”
Yui Yoon Lee, Principal Engineer at Samsung Electronics.

“These people are at a disadvantage when it comes to working in more than 100 professions. We typically think of people who want to be pilots – but car-glazers, painters, cosmeticians, drivers, kindergarten-teachers and cartographers also find it hard to do well in their professions,” she said.

A photo of Professor Klara Wenzel, who heads up the Department of Mechatronics, Optics and Mechanical Engineering Informatics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Photo: Professor Klara Wenzel

“This is why my predecessor and I, together with the team, began this research nearly 30 years ago. We thought: it’s not possible to cure this condition (yet), but it is possible to help people who live with it.”

The retina of the human eye contains approximately 6.8 million color-sensitive receptors, so it’s a herculean task to create a test to measure them all. Professor Wenzel and her team designed an accurate digital diagnosis test which uses the concept of color filters. Through mathematical modelling and years of experiments, they produced the Colorlite Test or C-test.

"Through the new diagnostic device, it’s now possible to diagnose the degree of impairment within minutes and help choose tailor-made colored lenses for correcting for 10 different types of color vision deficiency," she said.

A process of how SeeColors, an app from Samsung, works from downloading to getting a diagnosis

SeeColors app makes it possible for color vision deficient people to see full spectrum of colors on Samsung QLED TV Screens.

Professor Wenzel and team then took it a step further. They adapted the C-test so it can be used as an app on any Samsung Galaxy 6 mobile phone and above, called the ‘SeeColors’ test.

And now the SeeColors app makes it possible for color vision deficient people to see a full spectrum of colors on Samsung QLED TV screens.

“We want to help people with color vision deficiency to see the billions of colors that the world has to offer,” said Yui Yoon Lee, Principal Engineer at Samsung Electronics.

“The SeeColors apps uses the C-type diagnosis to determine if you have color vision deficiency and the severity of the condition. Viewers simply need to connect their mobile and TV via Wi-Fi and the screen will automatically change its color setting according to the test result. What’s so exciting is that the app and TV allow people with the condition to see colors with as much intensity as people with normal vision.”

“Technology has an enormous impact on our lives – particularly with our health. There’s now sensor technology so small it can be swallowed and transmit data via a wearable patch to a smartphone app. We’re seeing a whole new level of smart clothing - a smart knee brace that automatically constricts to provide support where needed, or contact lenses that monitor glucose levels for diabetics,” said Mr. Lee.

“Samsung is part of this evolution, but we want to go further. We want to improve the quality of everyone’s lives – day in, day out.”

The See Colors mobile app is updated on the app store already but to use the See Colors app on TV, please download at the Samsung TV App Store, the Galaxy mobile App Store or at Google Play from November 27th. Every time the TV is turned on, it will ask the viewer if they want to use the SeeColors setting.

Mobile app of SeeColors

It promises to be an exciting experience – whether using your TV to watch a movie, search the internet or check your email.

And it will certainly add to colorful discussions at home. How many couples argue over which channel to watch? We can now add color spectrums to that daily debate. However, few would quarrel with the joy of seeing life in full color.

  •   “This article was first published as an advertisement feature on WSJ.com and was created by WSJ Custom Studios, on behalf of Samsung Electronics.”