There are gadgets that you use every day and there are gadgets that you only need to use once in awhile. Unless you’re a painter or a designer, the Color Muse color matching scanner probably fits in the “only need once in awhile” category of gadgets. That said, it’s fun and easy to use. Let’s check it out.
What is it?
Color Muse is a small film canister sized gadget with a built-in color scanner that pairs with your iOS or Android device. Place it over a flat or textured colored surface and it will tell you the color / paint name for major paint brands and will let you search for products that fit that color. The built in scan sensor has color accuracy better than human eyes and images from a camera.
Design and features
As mentioned above, the Color Muse device is roughly the same size as an old-school film canister. It has an aluminum shell and a micro USB connector on the end that is used to charge the built-in battery. When fully charged, Color Muse has 6 months of standby time and can scan up to 3000 times before needing a recharge.
Under the USB port is a button that is used to wake the device. There’s also a small status LED next to the button.
On the other end of the Color Muse is a cap that protects the scan sensor and calibrated LEDs.
Using the device
The first step is to install the free iOS or Android Color Muse app. I did this on my Nexus 6P. After the install is completed, you launch the app and it will walk you through connecting the Color Muse. The steps are easy and consist of pressing the button on the Color Muse, waiting for the status LED to blink. Pressing the button once more and then doing a quick calibration which requires you to put the protective cap (it has a white liner) over the scan sensor and a quick tap of an onscreen button.
After setup, you just place the Color Muse scanner side down over the item you want to color match and then tap a button in the app. Badda bing, badda boom, your color will show up on the screen along with a palette of complementary colors.
If that’s not cool enough on its own, when you tap one of the colors and scroll up, you will see the paint name and brand name. You can choose which brand you prefer to use and you can switch back and forth to see the paint name for different vendors.
If you’re not interested in paint colors, you can use the matched color to find clothing, carpet, etc in the matched color.
Color Muse claims that the device has a 90%+ match on paint color fan decks, which is pretty impressive. I decided to do a little test of my own by using the Color Muse to scan the paint on the wall in my living room. We painted the walls about 6 years ago when we remodeled our basement and I still had a little of the Sherman Williams paint left in a gallon paint can in a closet. Click the picture above so you can read the paint name on the label…
The Color Muse scanner matched it perfectly. I was really impressed!
The app will also show you the Hex and RGB color values and will allow you to save colors.
The Color Muse color scanner is a gadget that most of us would not use every day unless our job dealt with color. But even occasional DIYers, web designers who use the world around them for color inspiration and others will find the Color Muse to be fun, easy to use and not inexpensive enough to have around for when they need it.