Collaboration aims to bring colour matching to smartphones

20th February 2018
Lanna Cooper


In an effort to develop an end-to-end mobile solution that embeds colour management technology directly into a smartphone for accurate colour matching, ams and X-Rite Incorporated have announced a collaboration.

The joint solution would consist of an ams spectral sensor and optical components packaged into a miniaturised module. The combined offering would enable phone manufacturers and retailers to reshape how consumers search, match and purchase goods such as apparel, home décor or cosmetics using mobile devices.

X-Rite research shows that consumers lack confidence in purchasing colour-critical items online. This uncertainty is typically due to past experiences which did not meet expectations and a difficulty in communicating colour from home to store.

Consumers wrongly expect to be able to simply take a photo of the inspiration colour with their smartphones and match it to a desired item. However, the wide variety of tones and colours available in home décor, apparel and cosmetics is difficult to accurately reproduce on mobile device displays.

Cameras are not precise enough to accurately compare the colour between an online product offering and how it will appear in the consumer’s intended physical environment. This makes online colour-critical purchase decisions unreliable and limits consumer confidence.

According to the companies, the joint ams and X-Rite solution is the world’s first spectral colour measurement solution utilising Pantone Colour Standards to be embedded in a mobile device. The miniaturised module is intended for integration in the back side of a smartphone. The module contains an advanced 11-channel spectral sensor and optical components that enable users to measure colour of objects in a non-contact manner.

The solution will connect to Pantone’s colour reference systems using cloud technology. Consumers, brands and retailers will now be able to identify and share product colours, making it easier to search product catalogues and select colour-critical items with confidence.

“Collaborating with ams was an ideal choice for X-Rite to bring to market a full end-to-end mobile colour solution,” said Richard Roth, Vice President, Product Management, X-Rite. “The mobile sensing solution will complement our existing Color-Eye offering, making it easier for cosmetics, home and fashion, and retail paint companies to integrate colour matching technology into their existing mobile shopping or augmented reality applications. This allows consumers to search, match and purchase goods with a higher degree of colour confidence.”

“We are excited to bring to market the world’s first mobile colour sensing solution that helps address a critical market need,” said Jean-François Durix, Marketing Director Color and Spectral Sensing, ams.

“Pantone is trusted by designers, product manufacturers, and brands around the globe, as well as widely recognised by consumers. We believe that this solution will enable e-commerce transaction growth while reducing returns due to colour mismatch.”

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