Peter Jones, president of Tenebraex, is a really clever business man. He is making the headlines every few month with some new announcements. This time featured at cnet news.com with the article Bringing color to the colorblind.
It was just about one year ago when the company was in the news with their software called eyePilot. This is a little software tool which helps colorblind people to distinguish and name colors on the computer. I reported about it in the Battle against color blindness with eyePilot and the follow-up post on RGB is not HSV.
Then again when school started last summer, they pushed their tool into some news channels and promoted it further. This time they focused at schools. EyePilot could help many children at school time to overcome their handicap of color blindness—at least in some cases.
Last time I heard about the company was November 2006 when I was contacted by Joanna L. Ossinger from the Wall Street Journal. She wrote an article about tools which help colorblind people and asked me for my opinion. Afterwards I had to ask myself if journalists have a work ethic, because after she got the information I never heard again a word and was mentioned by no word.
And here we are again. This time they neither have a new product to announce nor push their old one again. No, this time they just talk loudly about their ideas and are mainly looking for, well, money. Their new idea is a color reading cell phone.
This idea isn’t that new. The Color Luminator is a similar tool which was already developed by some smart students. Ok, it’s not a cell phone. But these days almost anything could be packed into a cell phone, if you only have a enough money.
From a business perspective, they definitely go the right way. I suppose they already made good money and will grow further with their well established tactics.
From a colorblind perspective it looks different. I did put together the following wish list for Tenebraex:
- Release eyePilot to the open source community. This way it could evolve to a nice little application which doesn’t just look like a fast hack with a big marketing machine behind it.
- Develop some great plugins for eyePilot. Those will enhance the product and make it a real nice helper tool for every colorblind person. With this strategy you could even earn some money.
- Then show us, that you really have something more to offer than just some ideas. Maybe you could get some help from the Color Luminator guys.
- After all that, approach cell phone companies and tell us, when you’re done.
If you follow this task list we will maybe soon have some great tools available for all among us affected by color blindness. Otherwise it might take some longer.