Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Electrical Engineering




color, classification, device, light, scanned


The aim of this project was to create a handheld device capable of scanning a surface and generating a text output indicating the color of the surface in question. The device is intended for use by colorblind individuals to aid in discerning between perceptually questionable colors. To provide the user with an effective color classification tool, the device was designed around specific requirements. Accuracy of color classification must be fairly reliable (above 60%). Once a surface color has been scanned and defined by the system, a simplified output representing the name of the scanned color must be displayed to the user. Point-and-click operation of the device is desired to facilitate quick and easy use. For in-depth analysis of the color being scanned, different viewing modes of the data must be established. The user may also want to save and review past scans, making data storage and retrieval desirable. To control the lighting environment a thin, opaque sheath circumscribes the light source and light sensor. The effects of varying ambient light are thus nullified. Color classification poses another challenge with numerous color naming schemes and notations available. Huebased Munsell color notation provided the best classification for the needs of this device. The finished prototype is not compact enough to be handheld. It is, however, highly automated and its operation consists of a simple three-step process. The level of development achieved on this design allows successful classification of a majority of colored surfaces with 69% accuracy. Any errors in classification are between colors of similar hue.