My wife (who will be joining the forum soon) and I were talking and we came up with a fun little idea.  For all of you severely Vi/blind guys who have a webcam, or a laptop with a webcam mounted on it,  this is a small program for identifying colors.  Lets say you are picking out clothes to wear.  You hold the shirt in front of the laptop (or camera), press the Space bar, and a voice tells you what color it is as well as the next 2 most likely colors.  I say "most likely" because webcam settings, room lighting, and even the types of light bulbs in the room can tint objects and offset the color a little.  From my testing at home, it is pretty accurate.  I was just wondering if something like this would be useful.

www.kaldobsky.com/audiogames/ColorWatcher.zip

If anyone wants to give it a try, here it is.  Press Space bar to check a color and press Escape to end the program.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Hi Aprone.

I personally don't have trouble with colour, but I do think this is a great idea.

usually as soon as you mention the word "disabled access" you can pretty much add several zeros to the price.

for instance I once had a play with a litle colour identifyer, ie, a small scanner about the size of a mouse which you could stick on things and be told the colour.

A shame the price was somewhere in the region of 140 pounds, or about 180  dollars.

The most extreme case I saw was a litle infra red machine and sensor. You had a litle sensor you could stick on something, ---- a book, a seat whatever, then you could press a small button on the devise (which was roughly the size of a keyring), to have the sensor beep.

Very useful indeed, --- I rather fancied it myself for remembering where my seat was if I went to the loo on a train.

The only problem was the small matter of the 300 pound price tag!

Heck, I'm no electrics expert, but I could probably tell you how the circuites were wired up in one of those!

Anyway, suffice it to say this is a great idea.

I just wish I had a web cam so could at least test how accurate it actually was.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Dark, if you are using a laptop you probably have a webcam built right into it.  It would be only a tiny dot above the screen so you might not even realize it is there.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
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I'd actually be quite surprised if my laptop has a web cam, sinse it's 5 years old, ---- I've certainly seen no options or references to one in hardware config or similar.

Btw, the colour sensor I had a play with (just for fun genrally), had some very amusing points. One of my favourite was when it described my skin colour as dark orange! ;D.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Dark, the one I wrote also saw my skin as being more "orange" than I would describe.  I think the reason could be in the hardware of the cameras themselves.  Most (if not all) web/digital cameras see in a wider light spectrum than the human eye.  Artificial filters are put in place to block out what the human eye doesn't see in an effort to make the picture match what our eye sees.  I wonder if imperfections in those filters are coming in to play on some level.  Just a guess though.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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I have a webcam in built in my leptop,Will give it a go,definately a cool thing to play with.=d

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
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Let us know how it works grryf.

I would've thought This sensort I had a play with would've had better filters than that, ---- but it's entirely possible not.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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8 (edited by grryfindore 2010-12-03 13:46:10)

Okay.So I tryed it now.I don't know how well I did and stuff,as I have never used my webcam before.So,what I did was,first I tryed a few speakers I have,lol.But it seem to think either they all were green or forest green,or something.I waved my hand in front o it,it said it as dark green ,forest grean,or something else green too.
Then I just alt tabbed,and moved back to it.then again I waved my speakers my hands,and my shirt.For first it thought it as lavender,then all were gray dark gray,blue, navie blue.hm.I did not thought that my hand was blue.winks.Will do some more testing on it.But this is me first time useing the webcam thingy,so it must have been my falt.Anyways,thanks for this cool little utility.
Edit.Alright I gave it a second go,and it seems to be working fine.I tryed a few clothes and stuff.and it told most of them.But again,I seem to have a problem.when ever I close the colour watcher,I get the send error report dialog.

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
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grryfindore, I had that error report pop up on me too.  I'm still not sure what is causing it but I will see if I can find the cause.  I don't believe the error is anything to worry about (it won't hurt anything) but it is annoying and I will try to fix it.

I'll give a few tips.  You will want to hold the item close to the camera and you'll want to hold it still while you press the Spacebar.  If you're farther away or moving the item odds are very slim that it will be in front of the lens when the camera tries to identify the color.  If you were too far or weren't directly in front of the lens then it could have been telling you the color of your wall on the opposite side or the room or even the color of a car across the street out your window lol!  There would be no way of knowing exactly what image it was seeing.  Another reason to keep the item close is so that the camera is pretty much only seeing that 1 item you're holding up.  If you move too far back it won't just see your shirt, but it will see you, your hair, pants, the desk the camera is on, your walls, floor of the room, and so forth.  With so much in the picture it won't have any idea which thing's color you are asking about and it just guesses based on which is most central in the scene.  I hope this helps a bit, but if a person has been blind since birth I can see how my explanation might not make sense.  tongue  Maybe someone would have a better way of describing this.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Hi.Ahh,so that was the problem.I kept the thing which ever I were trying a bit far.I thought to keep it close,but then decided not to.=d.I tryed it with close up now,And it said that my shirt was green with some other colour which I can't remember what it said.But twas correct though.So Thanks again for a cool little utility,it'll help some of us.Now I'll know what colour clothes I am wearing anyways.*grins*

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
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Glad to hear it's working for ya.  big_smile  The reason it tells you a few colors is to give you a better idea of what the actual color is.  Odds are a million to 1 that the item's color would perfectly match one of the colors the program knows, so it tells you which ones it is closest to starting with the most likely.  We tried to put in as many common color names as we could think of, although I was actually worried that would make it more confusing and less useful to someone who has never been able to see.  For example, if an item is identified as "peach" you might not know that peach is in the "yellow" family and is also very similar to "light gray", "tan", and "beige".  I was tempted to put in some sort of feature that would give these sorts of explanations after identifying.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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then there is the subjective bit. I've have personally said peache was closer to orange than to yellow, ;d.

if I can locate a web cam i rather fancy trying this myself, ---- just for fun ;d.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Hm, can you write that programm in java? If so it would be very usefull for mobile devices i thing

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hi,
Aprone,  Are you developt this program?

If I come back to this project I might look in to doing it on a mobile device, but odds are I won't be coming back to this program.  It is just something small and simple that I didn't expect would be expanded upon.  Yep burak, I made this program.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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16

hi aprone.
this program sounds fantastic, i really need to buy a webcam
to try it. is there a specific model that you can suggest, should i buy a more
expensive one so it will be more likely to recognise the colors, or it doesn't matter?
it will be really useful for me in the future. i currently live with my mother, but
i won't stay here for the rest of my life.
i asked a question several times: how would i be able to organize
my clothes? know what color combines with what? i thought about writing small papers in braille
with the color names and then separating the clothes in different places,
but in a few days everything would be disorganized again cause i forget about things easyly.
so, thanks again.

Best regards: Matheus
Sorry for my bad english, it's not my first language,
contact info: skype: alian_15 msn: [email protected]
email: [email protected]

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I wouldn't go with an expensive one if you're only getting one for this little program lol.  I can only test the program on the 2 types of webcams I have but I believe it should work no matter which type you buy.  The only difference between the cameras in this program is that it might take a little longer or a little shorter to tell you the color.  Different web cams "warm up" at slightly different speeds so it might take the program longer to click the camera on.  That isn't exactly how it all works, but it is a fair analogy.  Even the slowest webcam I've ever used was still only a few seconds slower than my current one.

I'm not sure how many people are using this program, but I should probably recommend that you check the item a few times just to make sure the color doesn't change on you lol.  I bring this up because I was showing it to a friend and it said his brick red shirt was actually black.  Surprised by the result, we tried it again and it correctly said brick red.  Our theory was pointing the camera exactly at the bottom of one of the folds of his shirt and the web cam was picking up the very dark shadow.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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I wanted to let you guys know I finally updated the color Identifier so that it has a calibration feature. I'd been talking about adding it for some time now, but I just didn't ever remember to actually do it.

Any time you are in a situation with different lighting you can choose to calibrate the program to get better results. Simply hold up an object that you know to be white and press Enter. I recommend you hold up a piece of computer paper or a tissue since those are almost always pure white and they are pretty common to have handy. Because of the type of lighting and the internal settings of the camera, the program won't see pure white even though it knows this object is supposed to be pure white. Doing a little math it now can make a pretty good attempt to compensate for the unwanted colors being introduced by the room and the camera. While not perfect, my own tests showed a significant improvement in the quality of the results.

Each time you calibrate it will replace the old calibration so if you ever want to return the program to its initial default state, just delete the file called calibrate.ini.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Hello, Aprone,

Thanks for that great project. I was unable to use it due to lack of a stable web camera (couldn't learn using its capture function yet.) However, the project sounds great for me.

I have a suggestion for your project. Luckily, a screen reading program called 'JAWS has lots of color codes in it. It has lots of color codes and their representations. Should I send the file so you can add it into your program?

Again, thank you very much for your intention of being helpful to blind and visually impaired people.

Yours truely,
SplendidFault

Standing by the window, eyes upon the moon,
Hoping that the memory will leave her spirit soon.

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Hi Aprone. What can i do if it says: "Camera not responding?
I've got an Acer Crystal Eye Webcam. Works on Skype etc.

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There really isn't anything you can do if the program doesn't work with your camera.  Unfortunately I couldn't write a program that would work with every camera people might have.  Sorry, I don't have a way to fix it for you.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Hey another idea why the program's weird. If your webcam's ontop of a computer the light from the computer could be reflecting from the object into the webcam and other weird stuff. Maybe m ake it less sensative

Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.

Actually I took that into consideration Stewie.  While running the program it turns your screen pure white, so that it doesn't contaminate the objects with any unwanted color from the screen.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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hey, Apron. just got a web cam today and used the color watcher.. i love it. now i can finally see what color I'm making my soaps! You can't do that with a cobolt color detector.

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Hi.
i've tryed a colbolt i think collor detecter but i don't like it. or it could have been from RNIB  i don't no. but yeah so i tryedit but don't like it because it is 98 persent rong! and 2 persent rite. wich isn't good at all.
sorry for the rant and sorry for not talking about the program. i haven't tryed it because i haven't got a webcam. i don't really see color as a big thing but some people do so i think this will be a great program. hmm could you add something so that the webcam doesn't "see" the other colors in the room? i don't no what though.
sorry for this long rant and sorry for bad spelling.

Thanks for reading,
Brad.

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