The Company Using AI to Solve Colorblindness and More

By Sachi Koide and Shreyas Krishnaswamy

Sachi Koide
Feb 11, 2020 · 7 min read

Have you ever watched one of those videos of colorblind people seeing color for the first time?

A color blind dad puts on the correcting glasses and experiences the world in full brilliance for the first time in his life. A kid gets a pair from his principal and scrunches up his face with emotion. A Youtuber films his first reaction. “That’s blue?!” “What color is that, inside the flower? Oh, it’s cream!” Often they cry, because they’ve never seen the world so beautiful. Every time, they hop from object to object with the wonderment of a child.

An astounding 1 out of every 12 men and 1 out of every 200 women is colorblind. Strongly colorblind people might only be able to tell about 20 hues apart from each other. Normal color vision allows more than 100.

Now imagine the incredible powers of seeing 500% more colors… in a contact lens. Imagine that life-changing technology in everyday eyeglasses. Imagine color enhancing lenses that literally change how you see the world with normal vision. And blue light-blocking lenses that themselves remain completely colorless and fashionable (without that ugly yellow tint).

These are only a few of the many products that the revolutionary optics technology company Hue.Ai is creating, and these amazing products aren’t even the most exceptional things about this company.

The Beauty of Artificial Intelligence

How the AI works: Their proprietary technology quickly runs through thousands of simulations of chemistry and physical form to create the optimal design. Then lab technicians can take these optimized designs and create prototypes almost identical to what the final product will be. This process takes much fewer people and much less time than the traditional industry standard of trial and error from the very beginning of the process.

Hue.Ai has got the attention of the biggest names in the industry. Look at the brand names in all the stores at the mall, and all the commercials on social media– Hue.Ai is a small company coming in fast, and they’re in talks to provide products to the biggest players across the globe.

The Industry

Fashion and Regular Sunglasses

Prescription Eyewear

Contact Lenses

Medical Cataract Surgeries

The Competition

In-House

3rd Party

Some 3rd party firms include: Shamir Autograph Intelligence uses patient data and AI to prescribe lenses for presbyopia. R&D Optical Lab focuses on creating custom lenses rather than broad R&D. Phantom Research Laboratories sells a lens dye line of vanilla pigments that don’t target medical conditions like Hue.Ai’s products. EnChroma sells lenses to combat color-blindness, but a 2018 study by the University of Granada refutes EnChroma’s claims. It found that EnChroma does not help with recognition or arrangement, the two tests used in color-blindness. Tatvum Research is a third-party R&D firm similar to Hue.Ai, but they do not advertise an AI process that supplements their own R&D.

In summary, there’s only a handful of companies even similar to Hue.Ai, and no other company uses AI to design colorants. This gives Hue.Ai a massive advantage in speed and cost-effectiveness compared to its competitors’ sluggish and spontaneous traditional R&D process.

The Team

Justin says, “We both noticed color blind colleagues at work had trouble making powerpoint presentations and interpreting certain charts. We got started testing lens technologies at the flower section of Lowe’s!”

Photo provided by CEO Justin Fong testing out their first colorblind correcting prototypes at Lowe’s

Justin graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a focus on finance and economics and worked in at Charles River Associates for several years, where he and Keenan first met and “became fast friends,” Justin says. “He and I kept in close contact after working for CRA and did several side projects.”

With a Cornell PhD, Keenan worked at CRA for several years before graduating from Google’s Advanced Solutions Lab 2017. Keenan then developed and commercialized Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning technologies for AES and led a team to deploy AI that demonstrated significant improvements to core operations until the cofounders teamed up to start Hue.Ai.

Hue.Ai’s core team and advisory board is stacked with Ivy League PhDs from Harvard, Cornell, and Princeton, as well as optometrists and industry experts just to name a few.

“We received a lot of interest from the optical industry. Eventually it became too much work to do our day jobs and startup at the same time. So we took the plunge and quit our jobs, and began working out of a garage …” and the rest is history in the making.

One thing’s for sure, this is a company you’ll want to keep your eye on.

Vectors Angel

Vectors Angel is the first and only angel group that…

Vectors Angel

Vectors Angel is the first and only angel group that focuses exclusively on impact investment. Our focus areas include but not limited to sustainabitliy, health and wellness, and empowerment.

Sachi Koide

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Vectors Angel

Vectors Angel is the first and only angel group that focuses exclusively on impact investment. Our focus areas include but not limited to sustainabitliy, health and wellness, and empowerment.