For artists, photographers and animators it's often essential to be working with an accurately color calibrated screen. It's also important to be able to print accurate colors being sure the hard copy matches what is shown on the display.

The original OpenHardware ColorHug and ColorHug2 devices provided an inexpensive way to calibrate most types of screen, and are now being used by over 3000 people. Due to limitations because of the low cost hardware, it does not work well on high-gamut or LED screen technologies which are now becoming more common. ColorHug+ is a new device designed as an upgrade to the ColorHug2. This new device features a mini-spectroraph with UV switched illuminants. This means it can take spot measurements of paper or ink which allows us to profile printers and ensure we have a complete story for color management on Linux.

I've been working on-and-off on the ColorHug+ for the last year in my spare time (and those with young children know why I'm so behind schedule). I'm now at a point where the device specification is more-or-less defined, sensors chosen, and I've got a space model and electrical prototype. We need to work out if there is significant demand for the ColorHug+. If I don't get at least 100 pre-orders it's not going to be economically viable to continue development. I posted a longer cost analysis to the mailing list if you're curious for the need of 100 pre-orders before proceeding.

ColorHugPlus Render
The prototype

I'll post a lot more photos of the prototypes when I'm not ashamed of how hacky everything looks, but the device is likely to look very similar to the original ColorHug albeit twice the size.

Specification so far

  • ~5nm optical resolution
  • ~2nm electrical resolution
  • High CRI user-replaceable "burnt-in" tungsten illuminant
  • UV LED user-replaceable illuminant (for FWA measurements)
  • 0.125 degree temperature compensation
  • Black ABS box with gaskets suitable for display, paper and printer calibration (ambient add-on to be designed later)
  • Individually calibrated spectrograph
  • A USB protocol that allows you to access the realtime spectra, or just a simple absolute XYZ value for a swatch
  • Support in libcolorhug and colord, and hopefully also ArgyllCMS
  • HugStrap for display measurements
  • 4GB LiveUSB
  • Bi-monthly firmware updates with new features and bugfixes
  • Access to upgrades for early adopters like before. (This is likely to involve "better" illuminants, perhaps an upgraded PCB, case etc.)
  • A cardboard shipping box with free worldwide signed-for shipping

A chance to preorder

At this point I am asking people to preorder for the ColorHug+ with a suggested RRP of around £300.

So, if you are fairly sure you'll want to buy a ColorHug+ (although it's not legally binding, and you can cancel whenever) then could you please send an email to with [preorder] in the subject. Please note if you preorder - we DO NOT want any payment or your address/phone number. If you've got any questions, concerns or are just delighted beyond words, please send an email to the colorhug-users mailing list.