Discover an Object's Pantone Color Code With This $650 Handheld Gadget

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I'm a little surprised Pantone needs to bother with a $650 color-reading device when their $10 iPhone app already does the job (and more), but for professionals involved in the creative scene this will fast become the must-have gizmo.

I suppose one of the reasons Pantone's Capsure device costs so much is because it can gain a more accurate reading of a color. Say an arty-farty graphic designer spots a red flower on his walk to work, realizes it's the exact shade he's been needing for his client's new logo, and snaps a photo of it using the Capsure.


It will be color-matched against the 8,000 or so Pantone colors in the library, using the camera's tri-directional technology to get rid of shadows and other elements skewing the main color selection. The color is then viewable on the 1.75-inch screen, and stored for use later—up to 100 can be stored at once. The battery is long enough for over 1,000 snaps, supposedly.

It's on sale now for that rather-ghastly $650, though you can probably claim it on expenses or taxes if you work in a relevant field. Unfortunately—and this is a major oversight in my eyes—while the Capsure Sync software (that lets you update the device with the latest Pantone colors) is available now for both PC and Mac, the Capsure Palette software for accessing snapped colors and creating palettes with these shades is only available for PC at the moment. Mac support is coming along in January next year.

CARLSTADT, N.J., Oct 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company /quotes/comstock/15*!xrit/quotes/nls/xrit (XRIT 3.89, +0.04, +1.04%) and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announces CAPSURE(TM), a compact, handheld device that lets design professionals, contractors, paint retailers and do-it-yourselfers confidently measure and match color inspiration instantly — from small, patterned, multi-colored textures and textiles to walls and carpeting.

Created for professionals in fashion, home furnishings, interior, industrial and graphic design, as well as contractors, paint retailers and do-it-yourselfers, CAPSURE allows users to accurately identify color inspiration from any surface, material or fabric and match it to a PANTONE(R) Color for easy communication. With unsurpassed accuracy, CAPSURE significantly reduces the time it takes to measure or choose a color from a sample or any other form of color inspiration.

"CAPSURE's advanced image capture technology sets a new standard for accuracy and versatility in a portable device," said Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at Pantone. "The real power of CAPSURE is its ability to measure the color of any surface, including small, patterned and multi-colored textures and textiles, which can confound other instruments because of their textural complexity, and quickly match them to more than 8,000 PANTONE Colors."

The device uses powerful tri-directional image capture technology that eliminates the shadows and interference inherent to patterned and textured materials and surfaces. By illuminating the surface being measured from three different directions while simultaneously recording 27 color-accurate images in 1.6 seconds, CAPSURE can extract up to four dominant colors from an intricate pattern so the viewer can clearly identify the desired color.

"I am constantly inspired and, believe it or not, have actually started carrying CAPSURE in my bag to capture color inspiration wherever I am — it's as easy to use as an iPhone(TM)," said Peter Som, American women's wear designer. "Pantone has managed to marry the design process with cutting-edge technology in this one tool — my design team and I are obsessed!"

"In the business of color matching tricky fabrics, patterns and plastics on-site, it's tough to trust my own eyes and harder still to be weighed down with multiple fan decks," said Jeff Miller, owner of Jeff Miller Design. "Pantone's portable CAPSURE device takes me right to the PANTONE Color number with one click, then provides dozens of additional PANTONE Color options and complementary colors which are all stored for easy use and reference in CAPSURE."

CAPSURE's image capture technology lets professionals preview what they are measuring on its 1.75-inch color screen, in real time, to affirm image accuracy. Those images are then stored on the device for later reference. CAPSURE has the ability to record the last 100 colors measured for later reference. Users can also annotate colors with a voice recording as well as a time and date stamp. Additionally, the device provides harmonious shades and identifies related colors that are lighter, darker or similar in tone to the identified color.

CAPSURE comes pre-loaded with all PANTONE Color Libraries allowing users to match more than 8,000 colors with a single device. Users can also toggle across multiple PANTONE Libraries and cross-match any material or surface. CAPSURE includes:

The PANTONE FASHION + HOME Color System Library (paper and cotton) for fashion and home; The PANTONE PAINT + INTERIORS Library (paper and cotton) for architecture and interiors; The PANTONE PLUS SERIES Formula Guide (coated and uncoated), the PANTONE PLUS SERIES CMYK (coated and uncoated) and the PANTONE Goe(TM) System (coated and uncoated) for graphic design, printing and publishing; providing sRGB, Adobe RGB, HTML, Lab and XYZ values for multimedia design.

Users can also upload fan decks from popular paint manufacturers, at an additional cost, to match the color of an inspirational item in paint.

For convenient remote use, the device is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery that lasts for thousands of measurements on a single charge.

CAPSURE Palette Application Software

The CAPSURE Palette Application Software provides convenient access to saved color measurements, details and tags, and allows users to view measured color samples with selectable lighting conditions on their computer screen. Users can also create palettes with their favorite shades or custom palettes for a specific project. All palettes can be synchronized with popular design applications including Adobe(R) Creative Suite(R), QuarkXPress(R) and CorelDRAW(R).


CAPSURE Sync ensures that CAPSURE is always updated with the most current color selections, new color ranges and specialty collections.

Pricing and Availability

CAPSURE is available immediately for U.S. $649 at Paint libraries can be purchased for an additional cost at or through the CAPSURE Sync function. CAPSURE Sync is available for both PC and Mac users and is included, free-of-charge, with each CAPSURE device. The Palette Application Software is available for download, free-of-charge, upon product registration. The Palette Application Software is PC-compatible; Macintosh support is expected in January 2011.

About Pantone

Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, has been the world's color authority for almost 50 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers designer-inspired products and services for consumers. More information is available at

About X-Rite

X-Rite, Incorporated, is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite's expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical. For further information, please visit

PANTONE(R)...The color of ideas(SM).

PANTONE(R) and other Pantone trademarks are the property of Pantone LLC. (C) Pantone LLC, 2010. All rights reserved. Adobe, Creative Suite is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated. iPhone is a trademark of Apple. QuarkXPress is a trademark of Quark, Inc. and its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. CorelDRAW is a trademark of Corel Corporation.