More adaptive options for those who could use them
Microsoft announced a new line of adaptive accessories today, as part of its ongoing efforts for accessibility. The accessories include three different adaptive options, intended to help those who might have difficulty with a traditional mouse and keyboard.
As part of Microsoft’s 2022 Ability Summit, the adaptive accessories come in three parts. A mouse, buttons, and hub make up the lineup, with the first two supporting 3D-printed accessories so they can be customized.
The mouse has options like thumb rests that can flip around, for right- or left-hand use. It also has additional “tails,” for different configurations of the palm-side of the mouse.
Buttons get pretty moddable too. They let you add eight programmable inputs, but the form can vary. Different toppers allow for D-pad, joystick, or dual button inputs, or even a 3D-printed custom topper. The hub ties it all together, wirelessly pairing with up to four adaptive buttons. It also allows for standard 3.5mm assistive tech switches, and can have a few different profiles for use with multiple devices.
The Microsoft Adaptive Accessories are expected to launch this fall.
Making gaming easier for all
This is part of Microsoft’s larger push for accessibility in hardware. The Xbox Adaptive Controller provided a really neat and effective way of adding more accessibility options. The Surface Adaptive kit added extra options for its line of tablet computers, too.
Games like Gears 5 have also pushed accessibility options, including features like improved speaker subtitles and single stick movement.
More options and tools for games to be made more playable are always a good thing, so this is a rad initiative to see. Making tech in general easier to use is a good initiative. It’s nice to see Microsoft not just undertake this, but stick to it over a few different iterations and pieces of tech.