When Valentin Nugmanov and I wrote the case “Mind’s Eye,” which revolves around bringing to the market a new lens to help with color blindness, it was meant to be purely fictional. However, since Case Master was published, EnChroma glasses have made a huge splash, and the case now seems eerily prescient!
One of the reasons why an increasing number of people are hearing about EnChroma glasses is that videos of first-time wearers make for extremely compelling, feel-good scenes. The experience of seeing color for the first time brings wearers of all ages to tears, as well as many viewers. Who can forget the student carrying around a yellow leaf, the boy examining his pink socks, or the father seeing the bright red hair of his sons for the first time?
The glasses work on a remarkably simple principle, which is to filter out the borderline wavelengths which so confuse the receptor cells of color blind people. If you’re wondering why so many of these videos feature men, it’s because the most common types of color blindness, broadly defined, are about 15 times more common in men than women. It’s not uncommon, either, with rates reaching as high as 8% in some populations.