Have you ever seen something while you were out walking around, and thought "That's just the color I'd like to paint my living room"? Well, if you had a SwatchMate Color Capturing Cube, you could act on that thought. It lets you sample colors as you come across them, so you can exactly reproduce them on a graphics program or even in a paint store.
To use the Cube you just hold it up to the colored surface that you want to copy, and press the top of the device. An internal spherical light source illuminates the surface in a controlled sequence, with the reflected light being picked up by an integrated color sensor.
After a few seconds, once the Cube's flashing red indicator light turns to green, you know that the task is complete. The device will immediately send the color to your paired iOS or Android smartphone, or to a program like PhotoShop on a nearby desktop computer, although it can also store up to 20 colors in its own onboard memory.
If you're using it to create a paint color, the app will let you know which color codes to use, from several major paint brands.
The SwatchMate Color Capturing Cube is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, although its Melbourne-based creators have taken the rather unusual step of launching a second campaign on Indiegogo, as a temporary means of taking orders until their e-shop is up and running. You can preorder one now for AUD$85 (about US$80).
The NODE Chroma module, incidentally, does almost exactly the same thing – although users also need to purchase the base NODE device, so it's a little more expensive.
The Cube can be seen in use in the video below.