There are a number of smartphone apps that are designed to help consumers match colors of existing paint or furnishings to paint swatches. However, none of the existing tools take into account the differences in lighting between the home and the store. Colors can look quite different under different lighting, resulting in a surprise for painters and product returns to the paint counter.
To use the app, the user calibrates a digital phone camera against a gray control card provided at the paint counter. The user then takes a photo, in their home, of the paint or furnishings to match. The calibration accounts for the variation in lighting between home and the store, allowing an exact match of paint or fabric to be selected according to the way it will appear in the home.
The app was first developed as a tool to measure reflectivity of snow or water for scientists studying climate. Some minor modifications are required for use in paint matching. The code will be made available to a developer with the resources to commercialize.
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