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TV image adapted to give colorblind people a better view

09 Sep 2015

Spectral Edge's Eyeteq technology differentiates images without disrupting normally-sighted viewers.

Spectral Edge, is enabling operators and set top box manufacturers to transform the TV viewing experience for the estimated 4% of the world’s population that suffers from color-blindness. Spectral Edge, a spin-out company of the Colour and Vision Group of the School of Computing Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, has integrated its Eyeteq image enhancement technology with STMicroelectronics’ Cannes set-top-box chipset, making it available to operators and service providers.

Spectral Edge will demonstrate the performance and effects of Eyeteq technology in STMicroelectronics’ private suite at IBC 2015, the entertainment and content expo in Amsterdam, Netherlands, between 11-15 September (next week).

Eyeteq allows colorblind viewers to better differentiate color combinations they struggle to see, such as red-green and pink-grey, allowing them to see image and video details they previously could not. As a result, colorblind viewers strongly prefer the processed output, says Spectral Edge. Eyeteq delivers this enhancement with minimal impact on the picture seen by “color normal” viewers enabling everyone to watch and enjoy the same screen together. With Eyeteq enabled, content streamed to a set top box is enhanced on a frame by frame basis before being displayed on the TV screen.

Delivering a significantly enhanced viewing experience for those with colorblindness enables operators and service providers to differentiate themselves in competitive markets. For example, programs which contain a large amount of red and green in their images, such as premium sports content, as well as motoring and nature programs, are problematic for colorblind viewers and thus benefit most from Eyeteq enhancement. Soon to be released independent research conducted for Spectral Edge shows a strong preference for Eyeteq versus untreated video amongst colorblind viewers, and close to 100% acceptability ratings for all viewers.

Christopher Cytera, Managing Director, Spectral Edge, commented, “Over 250 million people around the world, including 8% of men, suffer some form of color-deficient vision. The combination of our patented Eyeteq image enhancement technology and STMicroelectronics’ widely used set-top-box platforms provides the perfect solution, transforming the viewing experience while enabling operators to differentiate themselves and add new subscribers by delivering content to this large demographic group.”

Business model – licensing

By pre-integrating Eyeteq with ST’s chipset, the barriers to rolling out the technology are significantly reduced for operators. Eyeteq is licensed on a fixed fee, annual subscription basis, with operators receiving ongoing support and enhancements. Operators will therefore benefit from a royalty-free path to UltraHD in the future.

Ismail Allalcha, Strategic & Ecosystem Marketing, Digital Product Group, STMicroelectronics, said, “ST’s technology and our close cooperation with innovators like Spectral Edge allow operators and manufacturers to roll out transformative technology like Eyeteq quickly to their subscribers. We believe this solution will generate significant interest across the operator and set-top-box industries.”

ST's 'Cannes' family of system-on-chips uses the leading ARM-based application-processor architecture to provide powerful set-top-box and connected-client platforms. Featuring a dual-core SMP ARM application CPU delivering 7500 DMIPS, plus a quad-core GPU for true 3D graphics, Cannes supports integrated broadcast and broadband services, combined with the latest set-top-box middleware and broadband software solutions.

Video and demonstrator

The follows video explains the Eyeteq "story" and shows how the technology works:

A demonstration app for Eyeteq on iOS or Android can be downloaded at Eyeteq’s website

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

Nanoscribe GmbHPhoton Engineering, LLCKnight Optical LtdAVANTES BVSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupULO OpticsBristol Instruments, Inc.
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