A spectrophotometer. It's a device about the size of a shoebox that's hooked up to a computer. It measures color electronically. There's a port on one end that shines a light on the object, or whatever sample you bring us. It takes a very sophisticated reading of each wavelength of light reflected off the object.
Like a camera?
Exactly. There's a digital memory — sort of like the information that would make a photograph, but we don't print anything out. We call this a prescription, because it calculates the exact amount of various pigments it will take to make a color match.
Read more: Paint Color Matching - How a Spectrophotometer Matches Paint - House Beautiful
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