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Invention will help colour blind watch television in more detail

Publish Time 2014-12-08 17:47:00 Update Time 2014-12-08 19:22:02

For colour blind people watching their favourite teams play football, or following a recipe on a cookery programme can be tricky.

But that could be about to change, thanks to a new invention by British computer scientists which allows details to be picked out in astonishing clarity.

Experts at the University of East Anglia have developed a computer algorithm which enhances areas of red and green, frame-by-frame.

The software could run through a set-top box and would work in real-time, altering whatever programme was being watched.

“Programmes which contain a large amount of red and green in their images such as sports, cookery and nature, would be particularly enhanced.” said Prof Graham Finlayson from UEA’s School of Computing Sciences.

“It will help to improve the viewing experience for colour blind people.”

The software, called Eyeteq, would be available to users as an option in the menu.

Developers say the main benefit is that it can be watched by normally sighted people, as the picture for them is barely altered.

Christopher Cytera, managing director of UEA spin-out company Spectral Edge, said: “Eyeteq provides the perfect solution for the living room TV screen.

“Our trials have proved the concept, and it is now ready for integration into prime time consumer technology to transform how colour blind people, and their families, watch TV.”

Colours are just light waves moving at different frequencies. Colour-blind people struggle to pick up the frequencies of red and green because of a misalignment of light-receptor cells in their eyes.

But the new technology modifies the properties of certain frequencies so that red and green colours on the screen can be recognised by the eye.

Colour blindness affects around 2.7 million people in the UK (250 million worldwide), including 1 in 12 men.

The condition means that those affected cannot see images, including TV, with as much clarity as those with normal vision.

The new technology is now available for integration into consumer set top boxes.

Source: telegraph

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