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Sunglasses for colour blind

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EnChroma, an optical technology company has unveiled their first line of advanced optic sunglasses for the enhancement of colour vision.

More than 10 million Americans that live with red/green color vision deficiency (CVD), commonly known as ‚”red/green color blindness,‚” will soon be able to experience Better Color Vision starting in October 2012 at select professional optical locations and at www.EnChroma.com.

EnChroma’s sunglasses feature an advanced optical coating that selectively filters wavelengths of light responsible for color confusion. The result is a significant improvement in the signal to noise ratio in the chromatic channels and a breathtaking increase in the variety and purity of colors.

The company emerged out of an NIH SBIR grant designed to study the feasibility of enhancing color vision in humans, particularly among the color blind/color vision deficient. Dr. Don McPherson, VP of product development, originally came up with the idea for EnChroma’s line of advanced optics while producing custom protective eyewear for laser surgeons.

‚”Our ‚’A Ha’ moment came when I realized that the surgeons were taking the protective eyewear out of the operating room and using them as sunglasses at the beach,‚” said McPherson. ‚”Investigating this phenomenon further I then discovered that the eyewear had a noticeable positive impact on the wearer’s color vision, explaining both increased performance differentiating tissue in the operating room and enhanced vividness of the natural world outdoors. During the design process I had intended on making glasses that would block one very narrow bandwidth of laser, nothing more. Thus the discovery like many great discoveries was accidental and a side effect of creating something else. The end result was the development of a product with far more benefits than the original product.‚”

Following his discovery and finding, Dr. McPherson decided to seek out funding via grants and the technological expertise of Andy Schmeder, a Berkley-based mathematician and computer scientist, to develop EnChroma Advanced Optics into a consumer product. Mr. Schmeder used these new observations to derive a novel and incredibly complex model of the human visual system and produce a new kind of product designed specifically to improve color vision in humans.

“After nearly ten years of R&D we are happy to bring these advanced lenses to market,”” said EnChroma CEO Tony Dykes. ‚””As a team of engineers, scientists, doctors and vision science researchers, we are incredibly proud to offer a solution that can literally change the way people see the world.””

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