Spector makes discovering fonts and colors in print easy

spector designers font color easy pressshot01 fionaoleary 1200 1
Fiona O'Leary
Designing for print can be tricky if you are a true designer, the sort of person that is picky about if the font weight or spacing is a bit off or if the orange is a little too orange. It can be hard to figure out what the fonts and colors you are looking at on a printed page really are, but this new device called Spector makes it as easy as the eyedropper tool in Photoshop.

Ask any designer how they would normally hope to get colors or fonts into their computer? Chances are it would involve snapping a photo with their phone or camera and loading it onto their computer. But a student at the Royal College of Art, Fiona O’Leary, decided that was inefficient and complicated, which led her to develop Spector, a tool designed to make capturing printed fonts and colors for use in Adobe’s InDesign easier than ever.

Spector is a small device that houses a built-in camera with a mode for capturing text and a mode for capturing color. The user selects what they are trying to capture, places Spector over the color or font, and presses the lone button located on the top of the unit. It is still just a prototype, but as you can see demonstrated in the video — it works.

Once a user presses the button, Spector uses some built-in algorithms to identify shapes and color values, before sending the information to a database for final identification and validation. If the unit is connected to a computer, the user can select text or objects and have Spector automatically match the digital text or color with what it detects from the printed medium. This saves crazy amounts of time, and once fleshed out, could be a game-changer for designers.

Currently, Spector only identifies seven typefaces, but the plan is to continue growing the identification database to make it compatible with a wider range of fonts. The plan is to make the product into a tool for education, just as much as one for getting work done. Unfortunately, you will have to wait quite a while before you see any of these in stores. O’Leary is not in any hurry to bring the product to the masses, instead focusing on refining and making it more accurate.

Until that time, enjoy your design-related cell phone snaps and treasure them knowing that their days are likely numbered.

Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.

How to share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.

Etch-A-Snap camera puts a modern spin on one of your favorite childhood toys

Can't draw on an Etch A Sketch? Snap a photo with the Etch-A-Snap and the camera will draw out the scene for you. The weirdly cool camera designed by Martin Fitzpatrick replaces the usual LCD screen with an old-school Etch A Sketch.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Emerging Tech

NASA is building an inflatable space robot named King Louie

NASA is funding an inflatable robot called King Louie which could travel to the stars in deflated form and then be blown up when and where required. Here is why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

Yale scientists restore cellular activity in a pig’s brain hours after its death

In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death. The study is likely to be used to study brain function
Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Emerging Tech

U.S. police are testing out Batman-style bola guns to catch criminals

U.S. police are taking a page out of Batman’s playbook with a new grappling hook gun, called the BolaWrap, which fires out a kevlar cord able to tie up assailants in the blink of an eye.
Emerging Tech

U.S., U.K. embrace autonomous robot spy subs that can stay at sea for months

Unmanned, autonomous robot spy submarines that are able to stay at sea for months at a time may be coming to both the United States and its ally across the pond, the U.K. Here's what we know so far.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.
Emerging Tech

Meet the gene-edited bacteria that could make cannabis plants obsolete

Ever wanted to brew cannabis like you brew craft beer? At UC Berkeley, biologists have managed to engineer brewer’s yeast so that it produces the main cannabinoids found in marijuana.