● Amazing colour sensor ● Pro-level sleep tracker ● Space-saving power cube
$349 (about £227) Manufacturer Nix Sensor, nixsensor.com Requires iPhone 4S or later, iPad third-generation or later, iPad mini or later Includes Ribbon USB cable, microfibre carrying pouch Weight 43g
If you wanted to figure out what colour a pixel in an image is, you could use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to grab its recipe. But if you wanted to figure out what precise colour something is in real life, you had no such luxury. Until now. Ish. In theory.
This peculiar, enigmatic, vaguely diamond-shaped device, about the size of a disappointingly small cupcake, connects wirelessly to an iPhone and when you press it against a colour, it reads it and sends it to your device – defining its RGB, CMYK, hex and CIE Lab values. You can save it, compare or share it by email or on social media.
So far as it goes, it seems to work, even if the app feels a bit unfinished. We agree with Nix that in part because the sensor is enclosed you get far more accurate results than if you used a standalone smartphone app which relies on its camera, even if the design of the Nix means the colour you’re scanning has to be on a flat surface.
We worry about accuracy, though – not having any objective way to measure or calibrate its results – and thus we have some concerns about who this is for. It’s easy to assume it’s for creative pros, but it can’t be calibrated into a colour workflow and isn’t integrated into a system such as Pantone. (Pantone makes its own calibrated equivalent called the Capsure, which is £504.)
The concerns over pro-level accuracy might be fine in a product costing £75, say – something for hobbyists to have fun with – but this is three times that. A previous version converted sampled colours to paint swatches, which could be handy, but that’s missing from the current version. Christopher Phin
Promising, but expensive – it’s not calibrated to a trusted system, and we can’t easily test accuracy.
Easy and seems to work well…
…but we can’t test calibration
No export to Photoshop et al
Expensive, and who’s it for?
The hardware itself is wellenough made, though a little awkward and sharpedged to slip in a bag.