EnChroma glasses designed to compensate for color-blindness


September 17, 2012

EnChroma's Cx sunglasses are claimed to allow people with red-green color blindness to see red and green as distinct colors

EnChroma's Cx sunglasses are claimed to allow people with red-green color blindness to see red and green as distinct colors

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While many people may think that being color blind means seeing everything in black-and-white, such a condition is in fact quite rare. Instead, the majority of people who are classified as color blind are capable of color vision, but they have difficulty distinguishing red and green as distinct colors. EnChroma’s Cx sunglasses are designed to help in these cases, by selectively reducing the transmission of given wavelengths of light, thus allowing red and green to stand out.

The key to the sunglasses’ performance is a proprietary coating on the lenses. Said to be harder and more scratch-resistant than glass, it can be tweaked in production to filter certain wavelengths that cause “color confusion.” The result is an improved signal-to-noise ratio in the perception of colors, in which red and green don’t just appear as variations of yellowy-brown – as an example.

Depending on their specific type of red-green color vision deficiency, users can choose between two different models of the sunglasses, designed to filter different wavelengths of light. There are also models that simply boost the intensity of all colors (for use by normally-sighted users), and that boost colors while also blocking UV rays.

People who are completely incapable of seeing any colors will unfortunately not be helped by any of the models. Also, because they are sunglasses, their color correction feature only works in bright light.

EnChroma’s Cx sunglasses should be available as of the middle of next month. Expect to pay at least US$800 for a complete set of glasses, or $700 for the lenses alone.

Source: EnChroma via Red Ferret

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Great idea. I am color blind and would love to try them, but at that price, I will stick with my BluBlocker sunglasses at $30.


Great idea but no regard to the size of market and have priced out of the range of the majority of potential users. Price at $50 or less and the sales will go through the roof.

Ron Frank

If you like Enchroma lenses that's great, but be aware they are essentially just very dark sunglasses. They block large bands of the spectrum to achieve the effect. Note vision scientist Changizi has his own lab and already patented "o2amp" colorblindness correction lenses. They work both indoors and outdoors, and they don't cut out chunks of the spectrum. If you have any L (red) cones at all, they will make a difference. They are popular with doctors and EMT's but now others have started to discover them.

Tim Barber
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