Another major victory for accessibility is Microsoft’s Adaptive Accessories.
Microsoft has announced a new line of adapted equipment designed to assist people with disabilities who have trouble using traditional keyboard and mouse layouts.
The Microsoft Adaptive Mouse, Adaptive Button, and Adaptive Hub were all announced during Ability Summit 2022. Each one was created in collaboration with members of the community in order to develop the finest possible products that make it easier for individuals with disabilities to utilise apps.
The Adaptive Mouse consists of three parts: a central core, a thumb support, and a mouse tail. The last two are optional accessories that can be attached to the core to fulfil the user’s demands. Larger grips, for example, can be connected to the core for a better grip and will work for both left and right-handed users.
The core can be used as a solo mouse and can be wirelessly or via USB connected to up to three different devices. It also works with bespoke 3D-printed tails if any of the original sections aren’t suitable.
As an alternative keyboard, the Adaptive Button and Hub can be used together. From keystrokes to macros, you can programme up to eight distinct inputs to the Button. The Button’s top can be removed and replaced with something else.
You can choose between a D-pad, joystick, or dual-button layout in addition to the base top. If those don’t work, the Adaptive Button, like the mouse, enables custom 3-D printed tops.
The Adaptive Hub can also wirelessly connect up to four Adaptive Buttons and has three distinct profiles for different devices. There are multiple 3.5mm inputs on the Hub for connecting connected accessories.
The lineup will debut in the fall of 2022, but no price has been announced. You can join an email list to receive updates as the release date approaches.
Microsoft is leading the way in terms of accessibility
Microsoft has been expanding its inventory of accessible devices and software to assist people with a variety of disabilities in recent years.
For example, Microsoft released the Xbox Adaptive Controller in 2018 to allow those with mobility impairments to enjoy video games they would otherwise be unable to play.
However, with a price tag of $99.99, the controller may be prohibitively pricey for many in the disabled population. Microsoft’s new Adaptive Accessories, on the other hand, appear to be a more inexpensive choice, following up on the company’s prior work with the Surface Adaptive Kit from last year – which costs $14.99.
The Adaptive Accessories will most likely cost somewhere in between those two, but we won’t know for sure until the whole announcement.
Many firms have begun to take accessibility more seriously, and Microsoft has been at the forefront of this movement, therefore it should be congratulated. We’re excited to see what the firm has in store for the future, especially since it makes such a significant difference in the lives of individuals who benefit from its efforts.
The Adaptive Kit from Microsoft for making Surface devices more accessible is now available.