Put down those swatches! TapPainter lets you test colors with realistic virtual wall paint

put swatches tappainter lets test colors realistic virtual wall paint screen shot 2014 04 25 at 3 07 57 pm

Have you ever compared a fistful of paint swatches to decide on the perfect color to paint a room, only to end up disappointed when the applied paint looks different on the wall? If so, then you’ll definitely want to take a peek at this fresh new project that’s on Kickstarter.

TapPainter is an app for iOS (and potentially Android if the project raises enough money) that allows you to snap a picture from any point in a room and cover the walls with realistic, color-accurate virtual paint.

Now, to be sure, virtual reality painting apps like this aren’t exactly new, but the few that are available right now are extremely basic, and typically don’t produce true-to-life colors. TapPainter is considerably more sophisticated.

Using a set of specially-designed algorithms that detect things like wall edges, specular highlights, lighting distribution, and shadows, the app is able to analyze the picture of your wall and find the “reference,” or original color within that selected region. Using that reference image, the app automatically adjusts colors you pick to show how they would actually look if they were painted onto your wall. As far as we can tell, this is the only application that can do this right now.

Once you’ve found a color you like, the app will present you with a range of different color codes from different paint manufacturers, so all you have to do after that is run to the hardware store and have somebody mix the color for you. Don’t believe it works? Check out the two photos above. The first one is TapPainter’s virtual representation of paint on a wall, and the second is a picture of the real wall after it was painted with the color suggested by the app. They look identical.

The app is already available for iPad. The Kickstarter campaign exists to help creator MDi Touch raise funds for additional development. The team is hoping to bring TapPainter to the iPhone and Android devices, and also add improvements to the color picking algorithm to make the app even better.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Trash

Smash your carrier shackles with the best unlocked phones

If you want the freedom to switch carriers at will or you prefer to get your phone directly from the company that makes it, you'll want to buy an unlocked smartphone. These are the best unlocked phones you can buy in the U.S.
Trash

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Smart Home

SMEG debuts colorful dual-fuel Portofino 48-inch ranges for no-compromise cooks

When SMEG launches new kitchen appliances, you can count on retro-classic design, gorgeous high-end finishes, envy-inducing functional wizardry, and lofty prices. This week SMEG launched its Portofino Dual-Fuel 48-inch Pro-Style Range.
Deals

Walmart offers big price cuts on air fryers from La Gourmet and Farberware

Walmart made deep price cuts on air fryers from La Gourmet, Farberware, and others. Air frying is faster, healthier, and easier to clean than traditional deep frying. You also can use most air fryers for baking, roasting, and grilling.
Product Review

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…
Deals

Amazon drops a killer Instant Pot deal, with prices under $60

Instant Pots are the popular kitchen device known for making cooking easier and faster. Thinking of finally getting yourself one? Amazon dropped the price of the Instant Pot Duo Mini. Prepare delicious meals this Easter Sunday with this…
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…
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Smart Home

Miele stuns with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and other new products

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Deals

Shark, Ecovacs, and Roomba robot vacuums get price cuts for spring

The weather's getting nice again, and we're all emerging from our winter-long hibernation. So it's time once again to also start on that spring cleaning you've been putting off. But who really wants to clean when you'd rather be outside? We…
Smart Home

Echo Plus (1st-gen) vs. Echo Plus (2nd-gen): How exactly do they compare?

Which Echo Plus should you buy? This guide compares the first-generation Echo Plus its latest successor, allowing you to get a better idea regarding the ins and outs of each device.
Smart Home

Making hard-boiled eggs isn’t hard — here’s how to do it perfectly every time

With the help of science or some kitchen gadgets, making hard-boiled eggs can be a little easier. It may not be the hardest task in the world, but a few of these methods are foolproof.