Variantor Dichromatic Spectacles


Colour vision deficiency simulation glasses.

An experience based tool that can be used to aid colour universal design, Variantor helps you to understand what the world looks like to color deficient people.

Just by wearing Variantor, allows you to very simply experience first-hand the confusing colour combinations such people see.

Guide Price: £300

SKU: N2600


Basic Questions

What is color universal design?

This refers to creating designs that can be easily seen and understood by as many people as possible regardless of differences among individuals in terms of color vision. When color universal design is taken into consideration, you can communicate the correct information to many people irrespective of whether they have normal color vision or color vision deficiency. This should be beneficial for both those who receive the information and those who send the information.

What does this filter do?

This is a tool that helps in the process of implementing color universal design. If person with normal color vision wears this filter, color combinations that are hard for person with color vision deficiency to distinguish also become difficult for someone with normal color vision. For spreading color universal design, Variantor helps them to notice problems, as often heard that "first step is to find problems".

What can I do once I have noticed there are problems?

Change colors in ways they can be easily distinguished. If characters are difficult to see in the context of a particular background, several measures can be taken to improve the situation such as changing the color of either the characters or the background or outlining the characters. An easy way is to enhance the difference in brightness between words and background. By making either the color of the background or the characters brighter or darker, they become much easier to see. In graphs, information should not be displayed just by using different colors, but different line types and using shaded areas etc. are also needed.

Is this the first filter of this kind?

This is the world first product of this type. We are in the process of getting an international patent.

How can this product be utilized?

This product can be utilized in printing or publishing brochures, packages, educational materials, and magazines, etc. It also has applications in city planning like signages, directional signs, or guide displays in facilities. Additional uses include cars, electric appliances, living ware, and stationery. It can also be used for educational tools for adults involved in education or public administration. This product can be utilized in any situation where design needs to be considered.

Can anyone use it?

Yes, anyone with normal color vision can use it. But as this is a special filter, it should only be used after carefully reading the PRECAUTIONS  and agreeing to the contents. If person with color vision deficiency uses this filter, they would see little difference. That is, this filter has  almost the same effect as taking a color vision test, so only those who understand the potential risks of finding out the true status of their color vision (whether they have color vision deficiency or not) should use it.

Can minors use this product?

As mentioned above, using this filter may lead to an individual finding out that they have color vision problems. Also by telling others how he/she see colors with this filter on, others may also come to know the characteristics of his/her color vision. Accordingly, before minors use this filter, we are asking their parent or guardian to give consent.

Advanced questions

There are a variety of color vision deficiency types. Which types does this filter simulate?

This product is designed to detect color combinations that individuals with protanope (Type 1 dichromat: formerly called protan defect) or deuteranope (Type 2 dichromat: formerly called deutan defect) find difficult to distinguish simultaneously.

Are there products specific for protanope or deuteranope?

Technically speaking, these kinds of products do already exist, but there have been no plans to market them at this stage. We will consider doing this if there is sufficient demand.

Is there a filter which simulates tritanope?

Tritanope is said to occur in one in 100,000 people. We will consider making a filter available if there is sufficient demand.

Is this the way persons with color vision deficiency see colors?

This filter is not intended to simulate how they see colors (which colors they see). Rather, it simulates the difficulties they experience in distinguishing colors (which colors are difficult to distinguish from each other).

Is the product available in other forms apart from the spectacles-type?

We currently selling only the spectacles-type, but we are also considering a loupe-type and C-mount-type attachable to a camera etc.

Can this product be used for watching displays (CRT, LCD etc.)? How about watching light-emitting diodes (LED)?

This product was designed on the assumption that only reflective objects such as printed matter or advertising displays would be observed. Appropriate effects may not be obtained when observing light emitting objects such as CRT displays, liquid crystal displays, or light-emitting diodes (LED).

Can I absolutely rely on the accuracy of this?

We can't guarantee with 100% certainty. The products failed to detect about 2 % of the color combinations at the time of post-production verification. However, this does not make any difference when choosing color combinations that can be distinguished by anyone easily.

We think that persons with color vision deficiency should be involved in judging and checking colors and total dependence on this tool is not necessarily recommended. We assume that there will be a number of people in your office or school who can be asked to give assistance in this way.

Variantor has the benefits listed below.

Deepening understanding in color universal design by having persons with normal color vision experience how persons with color vision deficiency distinguish colors.

Facilitating the uncovering of problems in implementing color universal design by having persons with normal color vision wear the spectacles for a while (up to several hours).

Providing persons with color vision deficiency with opportunities to gain a new awareness by judging and checking colors together with persons with normal color vision wearing Variantor.

General questions

How many people with color vision deficiency are there in the world?

It is said that there are nearly 200 million people around the world. It is the same number as that of male persons with the AB blood group.

Can color vision deficiency be cured?

It is considered impossible to treat color vision deficiency because the symptoms have a genetic origin.

Are there spectacles which assist a person with color vision deficiency to distinguish colors?

Some filters effective for distinguishing specific colors are on the market.