Dr. David Flatla Presents a Talk

Dr. David Flatla is presenting a talk at DGP on October 23rd, 2014 at 11:30 am. The talk s being hosted in the DGP Seminar room, BA5187.

Title: Colour Identification through Sensory and Sub-Sensory Substitution

Abstract: Colour vision is one of those fundamental elements of day-to-day life; it helps us coordinate our clothing, prepare food, read charts, decorate our homes, keep safe, and enjoy nature and the arts. However, people with impaired colour vision (ICV) often cannot discriminate between colours that everyone else can, making these day-to-day activities difficult. In an attempt to help people with ICV, recolouring (or Daltonization) tools have been developed that remap problem colours to more distinguishable ones for people with ICV, thereby enhancing colour differentiability.

However, in spite of almost 20 years of recolouring research, empirical results showing that recolouring actually helps people with ICV are very rare. One potential reason for this is that recolouring often destroys the subtle colour cues that people with ICV rely on. A second (and indirect) reason is that recolouring is a captivating challenge for computing – the problem (dimensionality reduction) is accessible, solutions are easy to build but optimality is elusive, and the algorithms have a number of challenging user-satisfaction constraints (e.g., speed, temporal invariance).

“In this talk, I will present my recent work on the next generation of tools for helping people with ICV that preserve the subtle colour cues relied on by people with ICV, and (hopefully) represent a new captivating computing challenge. These tools look to address the fundamental problem of ICV – reduced colour perception – by enabling users to correctly identify colours in their environment by mapping colour information to other aspects of vision (sub-sensory substitution) or to hearing (sensory substitution). I will describe four prototype tools, present early user study results, and discuss future directions for this work.”

– Dr. David Flatla

Dr. David Flatla is a Lecturer and Dundee Fellow in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), where he was supervised by Carl Gutwin. David’s research explores the intersection of human colour perception and digital interfaces, where he models the unique abilities of individual users and adapts interfaces accordingly. His current research focusses on re-evaluating previous assistive technologies designed to support people with impaired colour vision to identify gaps where more effective assistance can be provided. David’s previous work has received Best Paper awards from CHI and ASSETS, and he received a Canadian Governor General’s Gold Medal for his PhD work.

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