Color blindness is an extremely prevalent disability, especially amongst men: according to official statistics, 1 in 12 men are color blind (although women fare better, at a rate of only 1 in 200). These rates of color blindness are part of the reason why Google places such importance in their Material Design guidelines on designing with color blindness in mind. For example, by not relying on color alone to relay critical information within an app.
But no matter how well programmed an app is, it’s not going to help someone who is color blind see colors… or is it? Red Stripe is a new app by developer Michel Fortin that aims to do just that.
Here’s how it works. If you’re color blind and want to make sure that a color you’re seeing is the color everyone else is seeing, you load up the app. It taps into your iPhone’s video camera and then applies a stripe pattern in real time over anything your camera is pointed at that is yellow, red, or purple, thus allowing color blind users to more easily distinguish what color they’re looking at.
The stripes becomes more pronounced the higher the red component in the color, so a dark or grayish red will have darker stripes than a highly saturated red. Stripes also appear with various intensity in other colors that have a red component, such as yellow, orange and purple.
It’s a really clever idea… so much so that I’m sort of amazed this isn’t build right into iOS. After all, Apple pays more attention to accessibility on their devices than anyone. It seems a natural fit to build this right into the camera.
In the meantime, you can buy Red Stripes on the iOS App Store for just $4.99 at the link below.