Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be colorblind? Experience: Colorblindness allows users to see through colorblind eyes in virtual reality (VR). The experience involves both learning about different kinds of colorblindness and navigating a colorblind world. Users discover what it’s like to explore a garden, shop for fruit, and wander through a museum while colorblind./p>

Pros:

This VR experience is intentionally and effectively pedagogical. After hearing a description of a certain kind of colorblindness, including statistics about its prevalence, the user is able to explore her environments with that type of vision. The ability to manually adjust the level of colorblindness highlights the contrast between full color vision and colorblindness. It was especially powerful to see works of art in a museum transform as colorblindness intensified.

The most challenging and memorable element of the app is the shopping experience. The user finds herself in a grocery store and is asked to pick out different kinds of citrus fruit. It is quite the challenge to distinguish between lemons and limes or oranges and grapefruits when colorblind!

Cons:

While the content of this VR experience was powerful and enlightening, the hand controls were imprecise and temperamental. It was especially difficult to access and adjust the gradation of colorblind intensity. Navigation frustrations might dissuade users from fully exploring different intensities of color gradation.

The app also advertises a colorblind painting experience in which users choose colors and compose their own works of art. However, I could not find this activity in the app. It seems like a hands-on experience such as painting could offer users further insight into how colorblindness impacts daily life, and I was disappointed not to try it.

Our Takeaway:

Experience: Colorblindness showcases the potential for VR to enable users to learn about and take on different perspectives. I would recommend the app, especially the shopping experience, to all users, as it offers insight into the challenge of living with colorblindness. The experience could be developed even further by incorporating more activities or by featuring testimonials from people with different kinds of colorblindness.

Image: via VIVEPORT