Inside HP Labs: 8 cool projects

On tap: A color thesaurus, photonics, and book and magazine publishing

Color Thesaurus: HP Labs developed the online Color Thesaurus as a way to choose a color based on entering the name of a more well-known color and seeing slight variations. There are roughly 600 common color names such as cyan or lime green, but thousands of actual colors that designers can pick.

The thesaurus is also a printed book that shows all of the available colors and the name. (In an interesting twist, the color book was printed using another HP Labs research project called MagCloud.com, which allows you to create a magazine or booklet and request a printed version.)

"Color naming is one of those 'long tail' things," says Nathan Moroney, the HP researcher who created the Color Thesaurus. "We wanted to develop something that demonstrated the scope of color data. Color names are like IP names -- some parts are similar, some are different -- so we wanted a visual tool to help pick color names. This is an online experiment and a reference book project."

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