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Red Hat developer explains open source color calibration hardware

Red Hat developer Richard Hughes launched a company last year to sell an open …

Ryan Paul - Jan 31, 2012 3:30 am UTC

Article intro image Photograph by www.hughski.com

Color management has historically been a weak area for the Linux desktop, but the situation is rapidly improving. Support for desktop-wide color management is being facilitated by projects like KDE's Oyranos and the GNOME Color Manager.

Red Hat developer Richard Hughes, who started implementing the GNOME Color Manager in 2009, launched a small company last year to sell an open source colorimeter--a hardware device that is used to perform color calibration. The Linux-compatible device, which is called the ColorHug, will retail for £60 (early adopters can currently order it at a sale price of £48). He has already received a few hundred orders and is building more units to meet the unexpected demand.

Unlike existing colorimeters, the ColorHug is an open hardware design with open drivers and open firmware. The source code and hardware schematics have all been published on Gitorious. In a detailed interview that Banu published this week, Hughes described the project in detail and discussed some aspects of the hardware design.

"The ColorHug is an open source colorimeter. It's designed from scratch, and every part is 100% open source. All the other colorimeters you can buy in shops have proprietary code that means we have to reverse engineer the hardware to make it work on Linux, and then we can't modify the hardware to do something else, or fix bugs and add features like you can with open source hardware," he said.

You can find more details at the ColorHug website. The ColorHug is currently backordered, but purchasing information can be found here.

Ryan Paul Ryan is an Ars editor emeritus in the field of open source, and and still contributes regularly. He manages developer relations at Montage Studio. Email segphault@arstechnica.com // Twitter @segphault

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