FRISM, a new venture with the goal of helping the blind shop for clothes, moved into the Startup ATRIUM of the YSB building in November. Its name is a combination of “Free” and “Prism,” with the latter being a tool that separates invisible bands of light into various colors. The startup aims to help the blind distinguish clothing colors through newly designed color codes.
FRISM was founded by seven students with diverse backgrounds. With Sodam Lee (entering class of 2013, Human Environment & Design) working as the team leader, team members consist of Dong Yeob Kim (entering class of 2014, UIC Creative Technology Management), Jisoo Kim (entering class of 2014, Urban Planning & Engineering), Byung Sun Park (entering class of 2013, Business), Sejun Oh (entering class of 2012, Social Welfare), Yumin Lee (entering class of 2016, Business), and Dong Hyun Han (entering class of 2013, Electronic Engineering).
FRISM started with a question, “How can the blind people distinguish colors by means other than seeing them when buying clothes?” Team leader Sodam Lee met with blind people as part of class activities in an Integrated Design Studio and learned they struggle with distinguishing colors by themselves when shopping for clothes. That led her to develop items related to “tangible colors” and assemble her team members.
The first project of FRISM was to develop color codes. It came up with a solution in which tangible color codes are embroidered into clothes to provide better access to apparel product information. The new color codes are in response to the need for intuitive codes because 95% of blind people do not know how to read braille. FRISM is preparing to undertake crowdfunding to finance its entry into manufacturing apparel and accessories that have these embroidered color codes.
Sodam Lee said, “It was inconvenient when we did not have enough space to organize meetings and store sample products. By moving into the Startup ATRIUM of YSB, we can better deal with these issues and achieve faster progress.” She added that FRISM is looking forward to a synergistic effect from collaboration with other startups in the ATRIUM.