Advancements in color sensing technology and its increased use in industrial automation are increasing the adoption of color sensing technology across several industries. Color sensing devices are extensively used to detect the color of the surface and to monitor the color consistency in packaging, textile production and automotive applications. For example, in the packaging industry, color sensors are increasingly used to ensure the correct positioning of the packaging material and for synchronized quality inspection. Recognizing these types of needs in many applications, one market research firm expects the overall sales of color detection sensors to exceed US$ 1.52 billion in 2022, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate growth (CAGR) of over 5.6% CAGR during the forecast period of 2022-2032 to surpass US$ 1.98 billion in 2032.
Another market research firm projects the values of the global color detection sensors market to exceed USD $ 2 billion by 2027 year-end and register a CAGR of over 7% from 2020 to 2027. Its analysis takes into account that these sensors are used in regulating and checking the color consistency in industries such as packaging & printing, plastics, textiles and other production processes.
Color sensors use the photoelectric sensing technique where a transmitter emits light and a receiver senses the reflected light wavelengths. The color detection process involves (1) sensing the color of the surface, then (2) casting a light such as red, green, and blue (RGB) LEDs on the objects to be tested, (3) calculating the chromaticity coordinates from the reflected radiation and (4) comparing with previously stored reference colors. Detecting a specific combination of wavelengths from the red, green or blue spectrum provides the actual color of the object or light.
Two different approaches can be used in the sensing process. In the first process, the sensor illuminates the target object with broad wavelength light consisting of all the red, green and blue spectrum wavelengths. Then the receiver portion detects the light wavelength that the object reflects back.
In the second process, the sensor illuminates the target object with specific red, green and blue spectrum wavelengths. Then the receiving portion detects the ratio of light wavelengths that the object reflects back to the incident RGB light wavelengths.
One of the newer approaches to sensing color employs color correction for image color accuracy for photography, quality control, telemedicine and more. To do this the company’s uses its patented algorithm designs as ad-hoc color patterns for each specific application based on quick response (QR) technology.
Recognized by any camera, the algorithm processes the images containing the pattern and obtains information about the “real” colors. Depending on the application, it then returns either the color-corrected picture or quantitative information about the target color to measure.
For image color standardization, the sensing process provides standardized and reliable pictures regarding color information for:
- Medical imaging (dermatology, telemedicine)
- Professional photography
- Environmental color calibration for augmented reality
For color-based sensing, the algorithm digitalization of colorimetry-based sensors provides:
- In Vitro diagnostics (test strips, lateral flow, liquid)
- Color quality control
- Image processing and color correction and/or quantification through the algorithms