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How would one go about creating a device that takes in light, analyzes its color, and outputs tones based on frequency? Answered

I want to create a wearable device, head mounted maybe on a pair of glasses, that takes in light, analyzes its color, and outputs different tones based on the color of the light. Basically a color sensing device for someone color blind. Any ideas on the requisite skills, parts, and such?


If you really want a high-resolution spectrometer, it's not going to fit on a pair of glasses, or even on your head.

You could do something simple using very small red, green, and blue filters on top of miniature photometers, and connect their output to a microcontroller (e.g., Arduino or Picaxe).

However, neither device is going to do what you want. Out in the real world, the light entering your eyes has the whole spectrum mixed together! It's always white light. I think you are imagining identifying the color of whatever the user is "looking at" at the moment.

That means you need first a device to track the person's view, then you need to map that onto a pixelated image and extract the color of the central (focus) pixels.

If you follow the links in the latter article, you can find good details on what people are doing today in this area of research.

In short, I want to do something like this: http://youtu.be/ygRNoieAnzI. This doesn't use eye tracking, it just analyzes that which is in front of it. His tool seems to be rather compact, and could be modified to be worn in other ways.

Neat, I'll grant you, but what "is" in front of you ? The sky's blue, in the distance, the grass is green, a fraction of degree lower.

Good point. Maybe it would just be used for up close things. I am not even color blind. I just want to use it for the synesthetic side effects that it induces.

There are a number of color light sensors on eBay.
I'm sure you noticed but he had to hold the detector very close to the object he was analyzing, otherwise it would just detect the color temperature of the ambient light (useful for photography, not for color blind people). I think instead of on a pair of glasses maybe put it on a short stick that could be passed over or near the thing you wanted to analyzed.

A number of microprocessors can analyse light colour - usually through the use of filters and some kind of light sensitive cell.

here it is applied to colour sorting sweets - You will need to read through the project documentation available on the Picaxe site