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Think you’re colorblind? There’s an app for that

Mobile developers have created apps for virtually every need imaginable. From the common to the obscure, if you’re looking to solve a problem chances are you’ll find an app to fit your needs. Well, the mobile industry can now add another notch to its belt. EnChroma has just unveiled the first scientifically validated app to test for color blindness among users. The test, which is suitable for both adults and children, is free for Android and iOS platforms and can also be taken online

EnChroma’s test is based on a certain type of image known as a pseudo-isochromatic plate. This image consists of a random pattern of dots that vary in color and brightness. These variations exist to hide simple geometric patterns in the image, such as a circle, square or diamond. The only way the user will be able to spot these shapes is to be able to distinguish the colors from one another. The test starts out fairly simple, but the shapes get more difficult to pick out as the challenges progress. The colors are contrasted in the early stages, but as users move forward the shades become more closely matched and the shapes become ambiguous. Coming from someone who scored in the perfect color vision category, it’s somewhat of a struggle toward the end.

Beside the shapes is a sidebar with meters measuring deficiency in the four different categories: Protan/ L-Cone Deficiency (red and green), Deutan.M-Cone Deficiency (a different shade of red and green), Tritan/ S-Con Deficiency (yellow and blue), and Confidence (black and white)

The app provides the user with a diagnosis of their performance immediately upon completion. If a user shows any deficiency, it will specify what type and to what extent when necessary.

Like the images in the test, color blindness can come in different variations. According to EnChroma, about 10 million Americans and 284 million people worldwide have trouble distinguishing red and green colors. Many of these people do not even realize they are colorblind, EnChroma revealed in a written statement.

“In the diagnosis of poor color vision, the standard testing method requires a trip to the doctor’s office,” Don McPherson, PhD, vice president of products at EnChroma said in the statement. “Not only is it scientifically backed, it’s free to take and is easily available at your fingertips.”

According to Enchroma’s VP of technology Andrew Schmeder, more than 1,000 people have tested their vision since the test became available last week.

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