Troubleshoot Color Muse® and Color Muse® App issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions About the Color Muse® Device
A: In a nutshell, it is an accurate and easy-to-use device and app that allows users to match colors to products like paint and fabric, among other things.
The Color Muse® device is a digital color scanner that connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet via the Color Muse® app.
Once connected through the Color Muse® app, users can scan colors from any number of sources and accurately match those scanned colors to products within the app, the most popular currently being paint.
A: Absolutely. We have many partners and resellers who brand our tool and who have had great success. If you are interested in exploring this type of relationship with us, please contact our Sales department.
A: Press the button on the top of the device once to power on the device.
A: The Color Muse® device shuts off automatically after 20-30 seconds.
A: If your device does not turn on, it probably means the battery needs recharging. Simply plug your device into any micro USB cable (one was provided within your Color Muse® package at purchase) and let it charge for 30-45 minutes.
A: Slow pulsing means the device is ready to connect over Bluetooth to your smart device. At this point, you will need to click the “Connect Device” button in the app to complete the connection.
Fast pulsing means the device has connected to your smart device and is waiting for confirmation (by pressing the device button again).
A: Depending on the amount of usage, the Color Muse® battery will last over 5,000 scans without needing a charge. To fully charge, plug the Color Muse® device into any micro USB cable (there is one provided in your Color Muse® packaging) for about 45 minutes.
Color Muse® requires a minimum of five volts to charge.
A: If you go to the “Settings” menu in the “Manage Device” section within the Color Muse® app it will show the battery level as a voltage amount. Full charge is 3.9.
A: The Color Muse® device automatically shuts off 20-30 seconds after it is no longer connected to Bluetooth. If connected to Bluetooth, it will stay on for 5 minutes before automatically shutting down.
A: To fully charge your device, plug the Color Muse® device into any micro USB cable (there is one provided in your Color Muse® packaging) for about 45 minutes. For best results plug the device into a wall outlet.
A: To scan a color, whether it be paint, fabric, or any other material, simply place the device flat against a clean surface or color sample and trigger the scan from your smart device. (Reference the “Quick Setup” page within this Resource section of the site for more information.)
A: The device is currently optimized and has been designed to scan standard paint, fabric or color decks. The results for glossy, “flecked”, and other types of color coatings that appear to change based on how you are viewing them will often times bring back less accurate results.
A: Calibration will be prompted at every device/app connection. If the app does not automatically ask you to calibrate your device, you can manually initiate this action by going to “Settings” (It is the icon in the upper left hand-side of the app) and then going into the “Manage Device” section.
After calibration is complete, remove the end cap, screw it onto the back of your device, and then you're ready to scan.
When not using your Color Muse® device, keep the calibration cap attached to the device for lens protection.
In addition, it is important to keep the calibration cap as clean and pristine as possible to ensure the highest level of accuracy when scanning colors.
A: Calibrating the device prior to each usage ensures the highest degree of accuracy with your color match results.
A: Although the Color Muse® device itself is very sturdy and durable, the calibration cap must be treated with extra care. If the calibration cap gets dirty or compromised, it can affect the accuracy of the scan results.
A: No, the recalibration process is highly technical and sensitive. Recalibration should only be done by Variable, Inc. - the manufacturers of the Color Muse® tool.
A: The Color Muse® device itself does not require an internet connection to work, however, the smart device and app that it is connected to does require an internet connection in order to search the color libraries selected.
A: Color Muse® scans in d50.
The device does not scan in d65.
A: The challenge with phone cameras is that they don't account for shadows, bright lights or direct sunlight. Cameras capture colors with Red, Green and Blue detectors, but human eyes see color differently than camera detectors. The Color Muse® device has it's own controlled light source and can read the color you're scanning accurately.
A: We will accept a return of the device within 30 days of purchase, no questions asked.
A: Each Color Muse® device comes with a 1 year warranty against manufacturer defect.
A: Code 9100 could indicate a form of radio wave interference or a problem with the efficient communication with
your color sensing device.
Here are a few common steps to reduce the potential for interference.
• Avoid using Bluetooth devices near common sources of interference, such as power cables, microwave
ovens, fluorescent lights, wireless video cameras, WiFi enabled smart devices, and cordless phones.
Remove any external case from your mobile device.
• Reduce the number of active devices that use the
same wireless frequency band. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices use the 2.4 GHz band, but many Wi-Fi devices can use
the 5 GHz band instead. If your Wi-Fi router supports both bands, it might help to connect more of your Wi-Fi
devices to the 5GHz band. Some dual-band routers manage this automatically.
• Avoid physical
obstructions in the path of your connection signal. For example, a metal surface between your color sensing device
and mobile phone could cause our app to perform poorly, and a metal-reinforced concrete floor or wall could cause
• Move your USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 devices—including any USB hubs—farther away from
your color sensing device. Alternatively, use a high-quality, shielded USB or Thunderbolt 3 cable with each device.
A: Screen resolution varies from device to device. The color scanned and the represented product results are accurate based on our scanning algorithm even though visual representation on the screen may seem “off”. Also, computer monitors and even televisions can have the color of the display adjusted to display colors correctly while most devices do not have that function.
A: A difference of under 1.5 ∆E equates to 3 stars
A variation between 1.5 - 4.0 ∆E equates to 2 stars
A variation between 4.0 - 8.0 ∆E equates to 1 star
Any larger variation equates to No Stars
A: Due to the variables in the measurement results, paint color swatch reproduction, paint mixing, and the fact that paint on walls fades over time, it is challenging to get an absolute perfect “touch up” match. The match will be close but may not be invisible. We recommend testing this on a hidden section of your wall. Painting the entire wall will gain you optimal results.
A: Because each phone screen is different and lighting conditions in each room can vary, there is no way to show exactly how the color will look once applied.
A: Yes. When you create palettes in the app you have the ability to share them via email, text message, social media, etc. In doing so, this creates a unique URL that allows anyone to view your palette. If you click on the unique URL, underneath the actual palette you will see "Download ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange)." Once you download this you'll be able to import the data into Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. When you do this, it not only gives you those color details from your palette, but also gives you the hex number.
A: Not currently. Currently you have the ability to save scans into palettes and then name the palette, but you cannot save individual scans.
A: No, we have intentionally not developed an application for the PC.
A: We are always adding new libraries into our database. If there is one that you would like us to consider adding, please contact our Support department. Some libraries are proprietary, such as Pantone, and require specific licensing which could prevent or limit their availability to be added.
A: Creating an account allows you to have a backup of your custom palettes and allows you to view them online.
A: The Color Muse® app is available for Android and iOS devices.
A: Many of the apps available are named after a specific company. These companies use them internally for color measurement. If you don’t work for any of those companies, the Color Muse® app is all you need.
A: Although this is rare, if it occurs, please simply delete the app from your device and re-download/install the app.
A: The Color Muse® app is FREE. That said, you will need to purchase the Color Muse® device in order to capture colors and fully utilize the app. You may purchase the device from Amazon or at variableinc.com.
A: iOS 8.1 or later
iPhone 4S or newer
iPad 3rd gen or newer
Android 5.0 or newer
Must support Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth Smart)
Information About Color
A: Lab color space describes mathematically all perceivable colors in the three dimensions. L for lightness and a and b for the color opponents green–red and blue–yellow.
A: Web colors are colors used in displaying web pages, and the methods for describing and specifying those colors. Colors may be specified as an RGB triplet or in hexadecimal format (a hex triplet) or according to their common English names in some cases. A color tool or other graphics software is often used to generate color values. A color is specified according to the intensity of its red, green and blue components, each represented by eight bits. Thus, there are 24 bits used to specify a web color within the sRGB gamut, and 16,777,216 colors that may be so specified.
A: It is (standard Red Green Blue) is an RGB color space (Red, Green Blue) that HP and Microsoft created cooperatively in 1996 to use on monitors, printers, and the Internet.
A: LCH is a type of Lab color space.
A: Both are types of illuminants constructed to represent natural daylight. The primary difference between the two is the color temperature of the light they are meant to represent.
A: CMYK is a scheme for combining primary pigments. The CMYK color model (process color, four color) is a subtractive color model, used in color printing, and is also used to describe the printing process itself.
At this time we do not support CMYK due to the large number/variations of standards available.
A: Delta E is a unit of measurement for color difference perceived by humans. The E stands for Empfindung; German for “sensation”. The scale goes from 0 to 100 with 0 meaning no color difference and 100 being the greatest color difference possible. Delta E has evolved quite a bit over the last four decades. It started as a simple mathematical calculation to later a calculation that incorporates adjustments to account for variations in a human’s ability to perceive color differences in different color regions. In the most modern delta E standards (delta E CMC, 2000), a delta E of less than 1.0 is not perceivable by most humans. People who either have superior color vision or have received specific training can perceive color differences down to 0.6 delta E.
What do all of these numbers mean? Well, lets see it visually:
A: This can be accomplished if a user has Adobe Photoshop. To achieve this you would need to open up the Photoshop Color Picker, plug in the d50 Lab color into the picker, then click on the Color Libraries button to see the closest Pantone (or other library) color in Photoshop. This will pull up the closest Pantone color in the “Photoshop color space”.
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