Home / News / Microsoft patented a braille-displaying controller accessory for the blind

Microsoft patented a braille-displaying controller accessory for the blind

Remaining 12 months, Microsoft launched its extremely customizable Adaptive Controller with the intention to additional interact with players going through a number of “restricted mobility” disabilities. However a newly surfaced patent first filed in 2017 presentations that the corporate used to be additionally taking a look right into a braille-compatible controller aimed toward visually impaired players.

Microsoft’s patent for a “braille chording accent for a recreation controller” describes a tool that may connect to the again of what appears to be like in diagrams to be a normal Xbox One controller, including “a plurality of paddles organized as a braille mobile at the housing, and a keep watch over circuit to translate a slightly power carried out to a minimum of a portion of the plurality of paddles into particular person braille characters.”

As described and proven, the tool would comprise a three×three grid of standardized braille dots that upward push and fall to constitute letters and numbers via contact. Thus, the accent would “output a braille illustration of any recreation textual content or any recreation audio going on all through the process recreation play,” the patent suggests.

The patent additionally lays out precisely why this patent could be helpful to the kind of 2.four% of adults that be afflicted by a visible incapacity, consistent with the Nationwide Federation for the Blind:

Some early video games, as an example, have been textual content heavy, requiring the consumer to believe the digital global by which the sport takes position via studying textual content, which regularly made the sport inaccessible and excluded visually-impaired or blind customers. One of the crucial largest recreation enhancements have passed off in the usage of advanced graphics. Video games using those advanced graphics are difficult to make use of for visually-impaired or blind customers for the reason that accompanied audible comments would possibly best describe the sport’s advanced graphics in a restricted approach thru the usage of display readers. Even if the gaming trade has made some growth against bettering a recreation’s common accessibility, a necessity stays for stepped forward recreation controllers and equipment that cope with the very specialised approach by which visually-impaired or blind customers have interaction with video video games.

As EA Sports activities Accessibility Lead Karen Stevens specified by a GDC communicate ultimate 12 months, blind and visually impaired players have an extended historical past of understanding tactics to play video games that are not all the time designed with them in thoughts. “So long as they know they’re shut, they are able to take a look at,” she mentioned. “It’s now not as just right an revel in [as competitive sighted gamers get], however it’s an revel in. And having an revel in is an important factor.”

Whilst there is not any public indication that Microsoft has any plans to make this patent into an actual product, it might without a doubt be a logical follow-up to the accessibility center of attention of the well-received adaptive controller.

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