Many industries, including cosmetics and automotives, are very interested in special effects like pearlescents and metallics. These pigments make the paint look different at different angles. We’ve all seen cars that appear to change colors depending on where you’re standing or the angle of the sheet metal.

Gonio-spectrophotometers were the first multi-angle devices that could see color shifts the way we do, but they were very big, and very expensive. Today we have portable, handheld, multi-angle instruments that can measure a surface from many angles. They work with a single point of illumination, typically at 45 degrees, and a number of different receivers that capture and record the light as it scatters in different directions.

In addition to the auto industry, these instruments are used in cosmetics for fingernail polish and eye makeup, and other industries that produce materials with interesting optical properties.