Freely and globally available software supporting users who are colour blind

Country of Implementation
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First published

Ryobi Systems´s Visolve, Japan: Visolve helps colour-blind users with iOS simulators, MS Office add-ins and Windows toolbars. The freely available software was downloaded 72,000 times worldwide between 2005 and 2023.

Solution details


Masahiko Shimoda Website
“I was often bothered by colour-coded signs while on the go, but I no longer have to worry about it owing to the Visolve app.” Yasuyuki Okabe, Executive officer, Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd.

Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., a large national company based in Japan, has created Visolve, an assistive software for people with colour blindness. It allows users to focus on certain areas of a screen and to apply colour filters such as ‘red/green’ or ‘blue/yellow’, thus ensuring better colour recognition. Visolve is freely available globally. Between 2005 and 2023 the software has been downloaded 72,000 times. As a second service, Ryobi offers paid services to companies supporting them to create colour blind-friendly products.

Problems Targeted

Colour blindness poses challenges for individuals in distinguishing and recognizing true colours, especially when using computer screens.

Solution, Innovation and Impact

Visolve is assistive software that supports people with colour blindness in various ways: distinguishing colours, finding specific colours, and realizing true colours. It allows the user to focus on screen areas and to apply colour filters. The support tools consist of three different software options. The first is a simulator running on iOS, whereby users can check if various products have a problem for colour blind people using an iPhone/iPad. The second is an add-in software for MS Office that helps to create colour blind-friendly charts in the users’ documents. The third one is a simulation toolbar working on Windows, whereby users can check the content colour of every application on Windows. Visolve can execute the following three types of colour transformation, filtering, and hatching: Red-Green: transforms redder colours to brighter, and greener colours to darker, Blue-Yellow: transforms bluer colours to brighter, and yellower colours to darker, Saturation: increases the saturation of all colours, Filtering: darkens all colours other than a specified colour, and Hatching: draws different hatch patterns depending on colour. Visolve also offers consulting services for companies in Japan. Visolve is freely available to maximize access and works with Windows and Apple systems. Between 2020 and 2022, the software has been downloaded some 6,000 times globally.

Funding, Outlook and Transferability

Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., is a for-profit company that offers Visolve for free, and is financed by revenue income from its consulting services. The company intends to further grow into new markets and plans to expand the business model by embedding their assistive software in the products of other companies, charging them licensing fees. (Awardee 2024)



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    Masahiko Shimoda

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