BERKELEY, Calif., Feb. 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EnChroma announces an advancement in wearable technology that brings color to the color blind. When you hear about 'wearable technology' the first thing to cross your mind might be computers embedded in the things we wear, but technology is being integrated into accessories in much more interesting and sophisticated ways than that. One example is the way Berkeley startup EnChroma created digital lenses that correct for color blindness.

"Our initial idea was to embed a computer in the glasses and modify what people see, kind of like Google Glass. It's really flexible and we had computer programmers implementing the technology and that is what they knew," said Tony Dykes CEO of EnChroma. "But the result was bulky and unappealing. The product got so much better when we imposed a 'no computer, no battery' rule."

Instead, the scientists developed a mathematical model of how the brain processes color and backed out how to accomplish the necessary digital spectral processing with a complex coating system. To apply the advanced coatings to the lens, EnChroma turned to an aerospace defense contractor that makes components for satellites. The coating consists of a stack of more than 100 layers of precisely fabricated semi-reflective material.

"By controlling the thickness of each layer to nanometer-scale precision, sharp edges can be created in the spectrum where the transmission abruptly changes to pass or block specific wavelengths of light, which is analogous to how a digital electrical signal instantaneously changes between the binary states of zero and one," said Andrew W. Schmeder, EnChroma's Vice-President, Technology. "That is what we mean by digital spectral processing: the ability to make a series of precisely designed incisions along the spectrum to enhance primary colors while cutting out the intermediate wavelengths of light that dilute the color signal received by the brain."

The human brain is the best computer ever invented, sometimes technology is much more effective as a compliment to make it run better rather than trying to replace it with something else.

About EnChroma

EnChroma is a Berkeley startup which emerged from an NIH SBIR grant designed to study the feasibility of enhancing color vision in humans. After years of research into exotic optical materials and vision science, Don McPherson, Ph.D. and his team in Berkeley, CA created the EnChroma Cx lenses for color vision deficiency.

EnChroma is an advanced optical technology company that manufactures patent-pending color enhancing lenses for color blind people. Test for color blindness by downloading the mobile app HERE.

Even more, the EnChroma team discovered that the color boost effect is universal: color perception can be enhanced for someone with normal color vision. From this came the inspiration to extend the product line with the NRG™, an elite vision enhancement lens for those with normal color vision, and the UV450™, an unprecedented extended-bandwidth solar radiation protective sunglass with color enhancement.

Media: Kat Dykes () +1.510.497.0048
Investors: () +1.510.497.0048