This Is What It's Like To Be Color Blind

With around 1 in 12 men suffering from colour blindness, it's a really common problem — but it's incredibly difficult to understand what it must be like to suffer from. Fortunately, Etre now has a simulator which lets you see the world through the eyes of the colour blind.

The simulator will spit out any photo you upload (less than 1000 pixels squares or 100Kb in size) and display it in one of three flavours of colour blindness: Protanopia, Deuteranopia (forms of red-green colour blindness) or Tritanopia (blue-yellow colour blindness).

In the image above, the original photo is on the left, an image adjusted to show Protanopia is in the middle, and one filtered to show Tritanopia is on the right. It's a really interesting insight into how a significant proportion of the people around you see the world. [Etre via BoingBoing]

Image by Mark Lagneau under Creative Commons license

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    What about a way for those that are colour blind to see colours how everyone else does??

      You're kind of missing the point. It's not just that they see colours differently, they see them with less information than we do. In the image on the right, for example, you'll see that green and red both look yellow. It's like someone having a black and white monitor. You can try all the colour combinations you want but all they'll ever see is grey. Colour blindness is a problem with the cone cells in your eye, so in theory you could restore colour vision with some kind of transplant or regenerative procedure, or possibly bionic replacements. But unfortunately at least for now these poor people live in a slightly duller world.

        Correct, the problem is with a mutation of cones/rods within the eye.

        For an interesting read, check out

        Last edited 12/02/13 11:48 am

        Um, actually I am colour blind, and to me the world looks fine :P What I meant is that if they can shift the colours one way to simulate what I see for everyone else, surely they can do the same to simulate what everyone else sees for me.

          Unfortunately not chris. No disrespect, Im sure life is just fine regardless of colour blindness. However Your colour blindness isn't information being interpreted incorrectly, it's a lack of information. In the image above, green and red both look yellow, as people with red green colour blindness can't tell the difference between the two. To simulate that to a normal sighted person is easy, you just remove colour information from the image. But because someone can't actually see green or red, there's no way I can produce an image that could convey green and red to someone as different colours. It's like trying to take someone with poor, blurry vision, and trying to "simulate" a clear crisp image to them. No matter what you do to the image it'll still look blurry.

    Do colour blind people also suffer from vignetting?

    Future versions of Bionic eyes will see the full colour spectrum including infra-red and ultraviolet light.

    I remember seeing a doco a while back about a certain species of monkeys that were naturally colour blind and some gene-therapy that was able to 'cure' them of it:

    Are we sure the image above doesn't have tritanopia in the middle? I suffer (well I thought I did but this image may prove me wrong) from protanopia and the left and right images look the same to me. Any other colour blind people able to confirm this with me?

      The three photos look different to me (I'm RG - so I guess Deuteranopia). The middle one is the most 'off' as everything seems to have a grey wash, but the main difference I see between left and right is the in focus pencils look (left) dark blue, light blue, purple, pink, red and (right) dark blue, light blue, purple, grey-green, green

      Then again, the article does say the photo images don't include the Deuteranopia version, which is probably what I see.

    I'm pretty badly colour blind, but I'd hardly say I "suffer" from it! I might wear a purple shirt thinking that it's grey, but that's about as bad as it gets....

    Sooooo, Colour blind people simply would not see the point of Instagram? Awesome!

    Does that mean colourblind people looking at the above images would see 2 of the same image depending on the type of their colourblindness?

    So what happens if the images are all the same........

    Do women not suffer colour blindness?

      Yes they do, but far less common. About 1/200.

        Um, more like 1 in 1000 I think. My older sister is Colour Blind, and did the tests in school, and as soon as my mum saw that (she knew the odds) she took us 3 boys off to be tested, I was the only one to come back positive. Sucks too, because I was 13 and always dreamed of being a pilot, totally disqualified me :(

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