To see color, the human visual system combines the response of three types of cone cells in the retina—a compressive process that discards a significant amount of spectral information. Here, we present designs based on thin-film optical filters with the goal of enhancing human color vision by breaking its inherent binocular redundancy, providing different spectral content to each eye. We fabricated a set of optical filters that “splits” the response of the short-wavelength cone between the two eyes in individuals with typical trichromatic vision, simulating the presence of approximately four distinct cone types. Such an increase in the number of effective cone types can reduce the prevalence of metamers—pairs of distinct spectra that resolve to the same tristimulus values. This technique may result in an enhancement of spectral perception, with applications ranging from camouflage detection and anti-counterfeiting to new types of artwork and data visualization.
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