Microsoft has announced that its range of Adaptive Accessories will be available to purchase starting October 25th in select markets, The Verge reported. The Adaptive Accessories were first announced in May and are designed to address common issues that can prevent people from getting the most out of their PC, especially if they have difficulty using a traditional mouse and keyboard.
According to The Verge, the wireless system includes a programmable button, an adaptive mouse, and the Microsoft Adaptive Hub, which connects up to four Microsoft Adaptive Buttons to as many as three devices.
The mouse is a small, square-shaped puck that can clip into a palm rest with a removable tail and thumb support. The mouse and button can be customized using a range of modular components, enabling users to find the best fit to suit their usability requirements. For example, the adaptive buttons let you add eight programmable inputs to your computer, allowing them to be used as a joystick or D-pad.
Back in May, Microsoft provided some explanation about the Microsoft adaptive accessories:
The new Microsoft adaptive accessories provide a highly adaptable, easy-to-use system. Each piece is designed in partnership with the disability community to empower people who may have difficulty using a traditional mouse and keyboard to create their ideal setup, increase productivity, and use their favorite apps more effectively. A traditional mouse and keyboard may pose obstacles for someone with limited mobility.
These adaptive accessories can perform a variety of functions, thereby alleviating a pain point for those who find it challenging to get the most out of their PC. The Microsoft adaptive accessories have three main ways that work best for your specific needs.
Right now, it is unclear what the price of the Microsoft Adaptive Accessories will be. However, The Verge reported that the mouse and button support 3D-printed accessories for a fully personalized experience, and both Business and Education customers will be able to 3D-print adaptive grips from Shapeways for the Microsoft Business Pen and Microsoft Classroom Pen 2. Community designers have previously made free printable files available for other accessibility accessories, such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
I think it is wonderful that Microsoft is making games more accessible to people who require adaptive tools in order to get the most out of the video games they play. This could literally be a “game changer” for people who struggle with keyboards and/or mouses, and who could benefit from using a joystick or D-pad instead. I say this as a person with disabilities that can cause me to stop playing a video game due to the pain in my hands.