This new AI-powered paint tool helps you create custom colors with your voice

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This new AI-powered paint tool helps you create custom colors with your voice

This new AI-powered paint tool helps you create custom colors with your voice
If you want to paint your living room the color of a New York summer sunset, you probably can't just walk into a paint store and find just the right color. But a new AI-powered, voice-activated tool from Sherwin-Williams aims to change that.

The paint brand recently unveiled Speaking in Color, a tool that lets you tell it specific locations, objects or hues to find the perfect color. You start with a rough description, such as "New York summer sunset," and then fine-tune once the tool responds with photos and other options with more detailed preferences, such as "darker red," "moodier," or "a little sun," until it's done.

Developed in collaboration with agency Wunderman Thompson, the React web app uses natural language to find your preferred color, using both third-party code and custom code. The tool's custom algorithm allows you to tweak colors in ways that translate statements like "make it darker," "make it warmer," or "make it more like the 1980s" into mathematical adjustments.

The tool is initially exclusive to architects and the company's range of high-performance coil-coating paints, with the goal of creating one of the largest color libraries in the world.

Christian Zimprich, marketing manager for Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings, says Speaking in Color is a significant evolution of the brand's previous work helping architects play with and develop new colors, such as 2019's Color Mixology and Thinking in Color, which work with hands and brainwaves, respectively.

"Investing in new tools and technology to create something that's never been done before takes time, confidence and the ability to be flexible," Zimprich says, adding that Wunderman Thompson originally pitched the idea three years ago, but the technology wasn't quite ready. "The end result is not always easy to see - you have to be in it for the long haul and have confidence. For us, the biggest challenge was keeping everyone on board during the prototyping and testing phases to get to the final product."

Brett Knutson, creative director of Wunderman Thompson Group, says that while Sherwin-Williams is often thought of as a paint manufacturer, it is a leading supplier of coil-coating paints - a high-performance paint applied in the manufacturing process primarily to steel or aluminum for a range of industries, including high-end architectural and construction applications - which goes far beyond the typical association with interior house paints.

"While product innovation is critical, being a leader in the industry means that innovation goes beyond the product itself to help customers realize their visions all along the way," Knutson says. "Speaking In Color lives up to that mission and can be a guiding tool for both customer initiatives and business planning. It's the perfect combination of Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings' investments in color, technology and data."
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