Got an eye for colour? Find it with the Color Vacuum app

One of my boys sees detail where my other kids (and husband) don’t. When I asked him recently to put on his blue top, he replied “The navy shirt or the aqua one?”. So as soon as I downloaded the new Color Vacuum app, I handed my phone over to him and said “Go and grab some colour!”.

Color Vacuum by Curious Hat is an odd little app. It’s designed to ‘collect’ colours from around you which can then be used to teach colour theory, stimulate observation and as a starting point for inventing your own colour games.

The app uses your mobile device’s camera to transform it into Professor Vapori’s Color Vacuum. ‘Suck up’ colours with the Color Vacuum and learn about colour theory. The app introduces the Additive Color System, where colors are created by different combinations of Red, Green and Blue light.

The collected colours appear as floating bubbles – the more saturated the collected colour, the bigger the bubble becomes. Colour bubbles also like similar colours and they tend to stick together. The bubbles are also placed around the circumference of the ‘viewing glass’ following the color wheel (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple).

Unlike the majority of educational apps, Color Vacuum is very much open-ended – it’s not a game as such, there’s no end-point and it encourages free, unstructured play. My son busied himself with ‘overloading’ one side of the colour wheel – looking for lots of things the same colour around the house.

Mention must also be made of the appealing steam-punk styling and sound effects of the app – very cool.

Color Vacuum is best suited to children aged five and over. It’s available from iTunes for $0.99.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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