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Richard Clark

See the World Differently: Filters for Color Blindness, Dog Vision, Comic Book Effects

April 18, 2013 —
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I love dogs; they are the best. I find that they are suitable not only as companions, but as friends and confidants. That said, as much as I might anthropomorphize them, I do genuinely wish I could see the world in their eyes. Now, with Wolfram|Alpha, I can—and so can you.

Agatha with her puppies

That’s Agatha with her puppies. She is my friend. Agatha has a propensity to play in the garden, and one of her favorite things—seriously, it is so cute—is to wrestle a ladybug off a plant and onto her nose. What does a ladybug look like to Agatha?

apply dog vision to image of a lady bug

It’s like a more blurry, less distinguished version of what we see. It’s a good thing that dogs have noses that are far more sensitive than humans’, huh?

I’ve always wanted to go to Ecuador with Agatha, in part because I understand the country itself is beautiful, but really it’s because I have a fascination with mountain tapirs. They are the sort of animal that isn’t really a dog, goat, or elephant, but sort of wishes it was all of them at the same time. How would Agatha see a mountain tapir compared to how I do?

apply dog vision to image of a mountain tapir

Fascinating stuff, right?

Outside of dreaming of worldly adventures, I force Agatha to listen to a lot of Lady Gaga. My fondness of her is not necessarily a reflection of Wolfram|Alpha as a company, although certainly it appears to be a mainstream view that Lady Gaga has a comical edge about her—the edge of glory. So this is what she would look like if she were in a comic book:

apply comics effect to image of lady gaga

Speaking of Lady Gaga listeners, my friend and coworker Keith suffers from red-green color blindness. I literally have no idea what that must be like. So let’s find out what it’s like, using an image of a traffic light for comparison.

red-green color blindness to image of a traffic light

Using Wolfram|Alpha, you can analyze images (including those from a URL) to see how dogs see the world, what it’s like to be red-green color blind, how something would look in a comic strip, and more. Importantly, you can even see how a dog might see the world of mathematics:

apply dog vision to a sin wave


Why just dogs?

What about cat vision? insect vision? fish vision? bird vision? etc.

Posted by Domain Rider June 21, 2013 at 4:27 am

Awesome! I love this. I always wanted to know what my dog sees. Thanks again!

Posted by Joanna July 8, 2013 at 6:26 am

Awww, dogs are awesome!! I’ve always known they can see colors =)

Posted by Lily August 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm

hhmm interesting! So how do dogs see people in the yellow and black? That explains how dogs don’t recognize their owners when there has been a long separation until they hear their owners voice!

Posted by Jan Normand August 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Cool! I love dogs and love learning everything I can about how they see the world!

Posted by Jackie August 7, 2013 at 10:19 am

Very interesting!! Thank you!! Dogs are one, of the many, amazing and beautiful souls!

Posted by Stephanie McCurry August 15, 2013 at 3:49 am

Amazing! I’ve often wondered if my dog,Bodie,is short sighted because of the way she looks at things sometimes now i know.! Thankyou its really interesting.

Posted by su August 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I have to admit that I am a bit skeptical of this information. It doesn’t seem to be very scientific. How do you know that their vision is that blurry? Was their a scientific autopsy in which the eye of a dog was tested? Our dogs sometimes see things that I can’t; until I truly investigate.

Posted by Tony August 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I knew my Yorkie, Lady Jane could see colours at the same time I wondered how clearly she could see. I have noticed that she does not see regular filming on television as she can see high definition…………she reacts by barking at different animals as well as she has a problem with anyone or thing moving too quickly and she reacts to high definition when viewing. She watches television on her own and she notices every mammal, fowl and fish she sees by barking at them including running and barking at the television. I find it interesting that she can only see with high definition though. Have there been any studies with dogs involving high definition?

Posted by The Windancer August 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Your work tells me that my old Dalmatian, who has cataracts, is not ignoring my hand signals. She saw them ok before but there’s no telling what she can see now. I will rely more on sound with her in the future. Thank you!

Posted by Shaara October 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Cool! I love dogs and love learning everything I can about how they see the world!

Posted by ANIL DAHAL October 31, 2013 at 4:19 am

I have very wonderful pet snakes. One is nearly 10 foot in length and abiut 50 pounds. I wonder how they see things.

Posted by Brad November 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm

This is very cool, but it makes me want to discover more. Is there any chance that you might put up more pictures for the dog-sight? I would like to know how they see their dog food, a bone, and maybe a fire hydrant –LOL

Posted by kdolson April 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm

This is very interesting, but how do you know for sure that this is the way your dog sees things?

Posted by Helen August 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

If this were true, then probably is the reason why dogs behave the way they do. Could it be possible to fit dogs with contacts to provide them with better vision, maybe then man and dog could do amazing things together.

Posted by Alan Hwang February 28, 2015 at 12:11 pm