In the Netherlands the data on cars currently on the road is available for everyone. Only the owner remains hidden. With this data we can plot how the color of the family cars changed over time.Read more...
People often ask why our software still makes so many mistakes. Why won't we make software that is able to instantly distinguish a wall or a door from the rest of the picture. Why not indeed?
The short answer: Because we have no clue how the human eye sees a wall or a door.
Surprised? There's a lot we know about human perception. However, there's a lot more that we don't know about it. Perception is still largely unchartered scientific territory. Here's an example, a picture of a room with white and red walls:
Common sense says it should be easy to distinguish a red wall from a white wall. After all, the walls are clearly visible in the picture. To the computer, however, they are no more than a collection of colored pixels. If so, why not take out the white pixels and the red pixels separately? Because the white wall isn't white and the red wall isn't red. And to complicate matters even more, there's a lot of red and white to be found outside the white and red walls. Here's a random collection of pixels in the white wall:
As you can see, there are a lot of colors in the white wall, some of them even white.
But surely the red wall must be easier? After all, this is a bold color, which can clearly be distinguished from the rest. Well, here are some of the pixels in the red wall:
It's safe to say that there are almost as many colors as there are pixels in the wall. The pixels of the red wall don't even contain the shade of red it was painted with. That's because the color of the pixels result from the reflection of the light on the painted surface. Not only the paint determines the color, the light does so too. What we think of as red, is in fact not red at all. How on earth we are then able to recognise a red wall as a red wall is an enigma which still baffles science.
That said, there are ways to make things a bit easier for the computer as well as the user. The Magic Brush, built into Colorjive Lite is one of them.
How does it work? Contrary to popular belief it does not search for similarly colored pixels. Instead it uses an advanced algorithm, involving statistics, to make a calculated guess as to which pixels belong to the red wall. It is so advanced that if you use the Magic Brush on a textured surface such as a brick wall, you will find that it will interpret the brick as well as the mortar as one and the same surface. It can pull that trick by using some very cool technology that we developed in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam.
Apple just announced Color Shift, a new color feature for mobile devices. In Apple’s own words:
“Many studies have shown that exposure to bright blue light in the evening can affect your circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep. Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning, it returns the display to its regular settings.”
So, which are those studies? Here are a couple:
Pennsylvania State University, US
Uni Research, Norway
However, the studies only show that the use of mobile devices, particularly at night, disrupts the sleep of teenagers. Duh. I have a couple of teenagers myself and yes, sometimes it’s difficult to get them off their iPads to go to sleep. But does that have anything to do with the color of the screen? I highly doubt it.
Researcher Anne-Marie Chang of Pennsylvania State University says: "Blue light plays havoc with your sleep by disrupting your circadian rhythms”
However, her own research paper notes: “This negative impact on sleep may be due to the short-wavelength–enriched light emitted by these electronic devices”. 'May be' doesn't quite sound like 'playing havoc', does it?
Steven Lockley, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, says mobile devices are a particular concern due to how close the light source usually is to a person's eyes. "But it's important to remember that all light, not just blue light, will increase alertness and have an effect on the body clock."
Could it be that Apple is interpreting research in a very particular way in order to boost the value of their own iOS? If everyone starts believing in color shift, we may well see the same feature appear at the other brands. Oh no, wait, it already happened.
I sure hope the new feature can be turned off, because I for one get nauseous from shifting colors.
We were asked to post an infographic about what your favorite color says about you. You can find it here, if you care to see it.
The infographic begs a few questions. What is a 'favorite' color? Do people really have one? Do you have one? Does Justin Bieber have one? As far as we can tell, Justin Bieber has no favorite color. Why else would he lean against his grey car in a blue jacket and red trousers? After all, one expects a kid in his position to be able to pick cars and clothes in his favorite color. Could it be that a favorite color depend on mood, day of the week and whether it is about clothes or cars?
And then, what is color exactly? Most people would agree that it involves light. In that case, how do you determine which color exactly is your favorite? Under which light?
These may sound as silly questions. But if you're in the paint business, they may be more important than you think. It matters a lot how the colors of your paint are presented. The order of colors makes a difference. The lighting makes a difference. They could make or break your color collection. Therefor, it makes a lot more sense to worry about what colors may do together than about what one color may do on its own.
Fashion tends to go out of fashion pretty fast. Those beautiful clothes today may look outdated only a few months from now. The timespan of fashion is 6 to 12 months. The timespan of a paint job of your house is 8 years on average. The timespan of a building may be hundreds of years. The timespan of a city could be thousands of years. When choosing colors, they have to be picked with the appropriate timespan in mind. In makes no sense to choose highy fashionable colors for a home. But it makes no sense either to choose them for its full timespan of hundreds of years.
In 1924, Gerrit Rietveld, a Dutch cabinet-maker, left his mark on the world of architecture by designing a radical modern house in bold colors. It is an ingenious composition of colored planes that create rooms and spaces.
Looking at the Rietveld-Schroeder house today, it is hard to imagine that is nearly a 100 years old. Part of Rietveld's genius was his understanding of the role of color in architecture. He said:
"Light that doesn't meet any surface, is invisible. Material is visible only by virtue of its borders. The border, then, is where the material ends. There is no material without color. There's no color that doesn't depend on the chemical properties of the material. And space is invisible without borders."
This implies that there is no architecture without color. Which then means that color is not just a superficial addition to the architecture. Instead it IS architecture. You cannot separate the color from the architecture.
Rietveld went on to make many more great designs, among others the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He is now regarded as one of the greatest Dutch architects and designers of all time.