Great things start from small beginnings, and some begin as fortuitous ‘accidents.’ Don McPherson, who has a Ph.D in Glass Science (Alfred University), noticed certain color transformations when he wore his lab glasses, coated with a special lens formula he had invented for laser surgery eye protection.
The discovery led to a research study. Clinical trials of the early prototypes revealed that the lenses had benefits serving as an optical aid to the color blind. The research was conducted under NIH SBIR grants, with test sites allocated at UC Berkeley and UC Davis.
Despite all the advancements, there was still more work that needed to be done to turn the lenses into a consumer-ready product. Don teamed up with Andrew Schmeder, who specialized in several fields including mathematics, computer model simulation and perceptual psychology. Together, they co-founded EnChroma, Inc. in 2010.
EnChroma set out on developing the prototypes into a scalable product. The first version launched in 2012, followed by innovations in creating lightweight plastic lenses, prescription lenses, and broad acceptance by professional eyecare communities in 2014.
The story does not end there, however, since it’s just getting started. EnChroma is continuously committed to researching and developing more effective, safer and useful products that will help the color blind see the world differently; by giving them the gift of color.