Color Assistive Technology for The Blind

How to bring colors back into the lives of people who became blind later in their life?

We came across a video of a person, who was blind from birth, talking about how he does not know or understand what color is. That got us thinking that maybe we might not be able to bring color into the lives of people who were born blind, but we could definitely do that for people who lost their eyesight later in life.


I interviewed a girl who became blind because of an accident. She was desperate and tried suicide because she thought she lost all the control of her life, needing help everywhere even at home. It took her a long time to be used to that situation. She learned to understand an object by touching it, however, it is unlikely for her to tell the colors. What's worse was that she would forget colors if she didn't keep imagining colors in her mind. She wishes that she could learn the colors so that she could at least pick clothes in her preferred colors by herself.

Here's Avery's story...

[    A portable device converting colors to braille    ]

Sensing the color by the color sensor at the bottom

Pointer turns to the braille of the detected color




RGB color sensor: Senses the color and gives an output in the RGB format


Arduino Flora: A wearable version of Arduino. Requires a lot less space than Uno. Controls the color sensor and the motor.


Servo motor: Turns to the specific angle that the code points to

Battery: Powers the Flora

Look at the RGB spectrum as a 3D space.


The vertices of this cube are the 8 colors on the 8-Ball - red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta, black, white.


The value given by the color sensor is a point (x,y,z) in this 3D space.


The algorithm finds the vertex closest to the point given by the color sensor using the Euclidean distance formula


The angles of the motor are preset to point to the 8 colors.

Using the closest vertex, the motor turns to its specified angle which points to the Braille letter of the color.

Now, with 8-Ball, Avery started a new chapter of her life.

Addition of more colors​

Miniaturize the form to be used as a wearable




Nov 2018 (4 weeks)

Ideation, storyboard, renderings, and all video​s.

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© 2018 by Zhangyan Ling