APP OF THE DAY: colourDNA helps you discover cool new stuff


A new app called colourDNA allows us to discover all kinds of cool things it thinks we’ll like based on what the team behind the app describe as “a proprietary algorithm for social discovery”. Intriguing. But will it really work or just tell us to try Bieber and pasta?

ColourDNA has existed as an online tool for some time now, but this week it’s been launched as a shiny new app for the iPhone. It aims to find out a bit about your tastes and interests, then it goes on to recommend other things you’ll (hopefully) like based on that initial information.

You begin by choosing your favourite colour (we stayed true to the Shiny Shiny brand and went with turquoise), then you’re given a real mix of ‘things’, from John Lennon to Oreos (we’re fans of both) to go through and ‘love’ by clicking a little heart, just as you would on Tumblr.

There are then all kinds of other options, you can create a new thing that you love, find out what people near you love, follow people and then, the special bit, you can discover other things the app guesses you’ll be into. So, all kinds of new things are suggested to you and you can feel free to ignore these recommendations or delve a little deeper to find a potential gem, by taking a look at a description, comments, galleries and videos about that thing.

The interesting part is, it’s all based on colour. We know, we know, we thought it sounded like BS at first too, but the recommendations are based on what the team feels is a pretty solid algorithm.

According to the blurb about the app:

“There are areas of colour psychology that suggest your preference for given colours reflect innate personality traits within an individual. Using colour preference as a metric, you can see a clustering of tastes and colours/personalities that forms part of the recommendation system.”

Although we’ve been given no technical details about the ins-and-outs of this specific algorithm, from our initial trial of the app it really seems to work.

Ben Poynter, the co-founder and CEO of colourDNA, said:

“We continue to see social recommendation services getting more personal and more contextual.

“This is one of the reasons we cover everything in our taste graph, and why doing our first mobile app was so important. We also see these services needing to offer more than just a platform for sharing, taking the experience further by giving the users something back that is meaningful. That’s what we are trying to achieve with colourDNA and we are really excited about its potential.”

Our main concern is whether people will keep checking back to see recommendations and add their own over time, or whether it’ll just be a one-off fun tool to play around with on your commute. But, for now colourDNA has a lot of potential to help you discover all kinds of cool new stuff you’ll genuinely care about, so go try and prove us wrong and see what kinds of things it suggests to you.

Oh and also, we’re pretty impressed this is a British start-up, so it’s COLOUR not COLOR. Yeah, take that America, we’re sick of spelling everything tech-related your way.

Available from iTunes for free.

Becca Caddy