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Method and Device to Match Paint Colors using a Smartphone

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238330D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed are a device and method, implemented through a smartphone, which allow full control of the lighting and other factors important to matching a paint color.

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Method and Device to Match Paint Colors using a Smartphone

It is often desirable to match a purchased paint color to an existing color; however, matching colors is difficult. The traditional approach is to collect and match color chips
(i.e. paper samples), which show the color of a paint and provide a name, reference color, and/or paint formula for mixing that paint color. Factors such as subjective human perspective in decision-making, the type of light source and level of light intensity, and the effect of surrounding objects add difficulty to viewing and selecting a paint color from color chips.

In order to address the factor of subjective human decision-making, some software applications allow a user to upload a photograph of the item for painting (e.g., a wall in a room), pick a point on the wall, and have the software attempt to match the select point with a paint color. However, the application does not address all of the other factors mentioned; thus, this not an effective solution.

A method and device are needed to control all of the factors in matching a paint color.

The novel contribution is a device and method, implemented through a smartphone, which allows full control of the lighting and other factors important to matching a paint color. The design defines a cavity or depression in the body of a smartphone, which houses an optical sensor and a light source. In use, the phone is placed against the target object so that only light from the phone-provided light source illuminates the object. The phone's optical sensor then takes a measurement of the color.

A smartphone body includes a cavity or depression within which one finds one or more light sensing elements and one or more light sources. A light sensor is typically a Charge Couple Device (CCD) used as part of the built-in camera. Light sources are mostly configured to illuminate an area directly in front of the light sensor when the mostly flat body of the phone is placed directly against a surface such as a wall. In addition to the elements described, the smartphone optionally includes one or more additional light sources. In operation, the light sources and light sensor are used in conjunction to take photographs per current smartphone operation. The light sources and light sensor are used in conjunction to determine color values in immediate proximity to the smartphone.

In order to accurately determine the color values of a surface such as a wall or some other object, the user places the smartphone in contact with the surface or object. An application running on the smartphone instructs the phone to illuminate light sources and then measure the intensity of the light at various points in the color spectrum using light sensors. Some embodiments can include a single white light source whi...