The mobile application colorID, by Winfield & Co. LLC (and available for download from iTunes for $1.99), is a color recognition tool that allows users to capture, identify, and share colors on the go. A recent blog post by Austin Seraphin highlights a profound use of this application: used in conjunction with the iPhone’s standard VoiceOver screen reader and iPhone camera, colorID speaks the names of colors. This allows visually impaired users to hear a narrative of color as they experience it. Below is an excerpt from Seraphin’s blog; find the entire post here. Read more about accessible applications here.
The next day, I went outside. I looked at the sky. I heard colors such as “Horizon,” “Outer Space,” and many shades of blue and gray. I used color queues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone… I then found the brown shed, and returned to the gray house. My mind felt blown. I watched the sun set, listening to the colors change as the sky darkened. The next night, I had a conversation with Mom about how the sky looked bluer tonight. Since I can see some light and color, I think hearing the color names can help nudge my perception, and enhance my visual experience.