2011 Award for Science and Technology from Ministry of Education Given to Prof. Nakauchi
14 Apr 2011
Prof. Shigeki Nakauchi of the Computer Science and Engineering Department, has
received the 2011 Award for Science and Technology (Development Category) from
the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology(MEXT).
Professor Nakauchi won the award for his work on the 'Development of a filter to understand what the world looks like to color deficient people for use in Color Universal Design (CUD).'
This award is given to individuals for innovative or inventiveresearch that is of practical use in the community and improves the everyday lives and socioeconomic conditions of Japanese people.
Outline of the achievement
Five percent of Japanese men, and 200 milion people worldwide are colorblind (color vision deficiency) and have difficulty in distinguishing specific color combinations. In order that the colorblind, and otherswith normal color vision, do not confuse colors, there is an urgent need for CUD (color universal design).
However, in general those who are not color blind do not have an intuitive understanding of the difficulties posed by colorblindness, and this presents a barrier to familiarizing and promoting the CUD concept. In this world's first development, a filter that modifies the optical spectrum to reproduce colorblind characteristics was developed for commercial use in 2007 (http://www.variantor.com).
Using this filter, which comes in both eyeglasses and glass loupes, the non-colorblind can experience the perceptual color confusion which in the colorblind is due to the lack of one type of cone photoreceptor out of the three that support color vision.
Through the experience of simulated but highly realistic color-blindness, it is possible to find problematic color schemes in almost any situation using the filter as a CUD tool. Currently the filter is being widely used for color combination tests in industry and in publicfacilities for printing material, public signs, and textbooks, including those used at CUD enlightenment seminars.
Professor Nakauchi's achievement makes a significant contribution to the familiarization and promotion of CUD by enabling all to experience the diversity of color vision, and to realize problematiccolor combinations.