66-year-old colorblind man overwhelmed to see colors for first time


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/11/66-year-old-colorblind-man-ove.html


I was starting to get annoyed with the 12 family members all simultaneously explaining while the video is recording (personal pet peeve). But his reaction makes that all moot. So cool. I’m really happy for him.


Damn it! Tear-jerker warning needed.


These videos are simultaneously great and infuriating. (Or rather - the DESCRIPTIONS are infuriating.) No glasses can make anyone “See color for the first time”. What they can do (and DO do) is increase the contrast between colors that usually look very similar to a color-blind person, so that they see more difference between different-colored objects than they did before. No one is seeing any actual colors that they couldn’t see before. That is simply not possible. And no TRULY completely-colorblind person (a condition which is very rare) is seeing any colors at all.

(Which isn’t to say that I, as a person with protanomaly - a type of color blindness that is still trichromatic but with decreased sensitivity to reds - don’t still want to try them!)


I’ve seen a couple of these over the years and they never fail to bring on the feels. I do wonder what it’d be like to experience something like that for the first time. Must be very overwhelming.



I’m not sure if it was this company, but I took some online test to see if these glasses were for me, and they were like, “Nope, keep your money,” which I suppose was nice of them. Still doesn’t stop people from asking me if I’ve heard about these and/or then pointing at various objects and asking me what color they are.


I especially enjoyed that part where she says, “My vacation is very important to me,” and then a few moments later he says, “We make booking dot easy.” But the hankie moment comes at the end, when that other guy says, “Welcome to the High Life™” with that distinctive piano line playing…



This video makes me depressed. I am red-green colorblind, but when I tried on the glasses everything still looked the same.


Is he seeing colors he’s never seen before? Can he name the colors he sees? I guess people have to tell him what some of them are initially?



So is color blindness in the retina or in the part of the brain that handles input from the eyeballs? If it was just in the eyes, I wonder if it’s possible to bypass and go straight to the optic nerve. William Gibson covered this in Virtual Light and I have always wondered if it was possible.


I want to say, and i could be wrong because i’m too lazy to use Google right now, that is a defect with the light sensors in the retina. It is feasible to give input directly to the optic nerve or to the region of the brain responsible for visual interpretation, but as far as i know that sort of optical technology is still pretty early.




Try LSD. Seriously, I just wend down the enchroma rabbit hole, and those people are tripping balls.


It is usually the rods and cones in the eye, and is a fairly common problem.

With these glasses, they are still colorblind, but can see the differences in colors that previously looked the same because of false color.


They claim they do a bit more than that though. For those whose red/green colorblindness are caused by their red and green cones getting cross-stimulated and muddying the signal so to speak, the glasses supposedly filter out the wavelengths that stimulate both cones at the same time–basically cleaning up the signal so red and green can be distinguished.

In any case, though, I can’t get too excited about this with gene therapy supposedly just around the corner that will completely cure color blindness…



My father and sister both have strabismus - they can’t see 3D. My father’s is much worse than my sister’s. I read this book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465020739/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and it really made me aware of how depressing it must be to not see dimension. I bought the book for both of them because I thought it might help them understand emotionally how it affects them.


Nobody ever asks me that, am I just not as special? :stuck_out_tongue:


And even so will need to be done while the visual centers are still developing in childhood or it will likely be for naught.