Abstract

One of the barriers to the construction of consistent computer-based color vision tests has been the variety of monitors and computers. Consistency of color on a variety of screens has necessitated calibration of each setup individually. Color vision examination with a carefully controlled display has, as a consequence, been a laboratory rather than a clinical activity. Inevitably, smart phones have become a vehicle for color vision tests. They have the advantage that the processor and screen are associated and there are fewer models of smart phones than permutations of computers and monitors. Colorimetric consistency of display within a model may be a given. It may extend across models from the same manufacturer but is unlikely to extend between manufacturers especially where technologies vary. In this study, we measured the same set of colors in a JPEG file displayed on 11 samples of each of four models of smart phone (iPhone 4s, iPhone5, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Samsung Galaxy S4) using a Photo Research PR-730. The iPhones are white LED backlit LCD and the Samsung are OLEDs. The color gamut varies between models and comparison with sRGB space shows 61%, 85%, 117%, and 110%, respectively. The iPhones differ markedly from the Samsungs and from one another. This indicates that model-specific color lookup tables will be needed. Within each model, the primaries were quite consistent (despite the age of phone varying within each sample). The worst case in each model was the blue primary; the 95th percentile limits in the v coordinate were ±0.008 for the iPhone 4 and ±0.004 for the other three models. The uv variation in white points was ±0.004 for the iPhone4 and ±0.002 for the others, although the spread of white points between models was uv±0.007. The differences are essentially the same for primaries at low luminance. The variation of colors intermediate between the primaries (e.g., red–purple, orange) mirror the variation in the primaries. The variation in luminance (maximum brightness) was ±7%, 15%, 7%, and 15%, respectively. The iPhones have almost 2× the luminance. To accommodate differences between makes and models, dedicated color lookup tables will be necessary, but the variations within a model appear to be small enough that consistent color vision tests can be designed successfully.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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