Microsoft has just launched a whole new range of accessories, making mice and keyboards adaptive for people with disabilities.
Microsoft wants to be an ever more inclusive brand and has been working on this for several years. The Redmond firm has just taken advantage of the 12th Ability Summit to unveil its “Inclusive Tech Lab” to the world. New adaptive accessories that should allow people with disabilities to have better access to technology and that it adapts to them, not the other way around.
In total, three groups of accessories, for three different devices, were presented by Microsoft. The first focuses on mice, while the second is more for devices such as gamepads, especially for Xbox. Finally, the third makes it possible to have connectors to help people with disabilities to have the best possible PC configuration and to make the most of the technology in front of them.
Ever more adaptive solutions
Microsoft explains that the adaptive buttons make it possible to add eight programmable inputs to the computer. The firm explains that the mouse can thus be replaced by a joystick or an eight-way D-pad. These can then be programmed to act as complicated keyboard shortcuts that are very difficult or even impossible for people with disabilities to perform.
In its press release about this new range of accessories, Microsoft recalls that inclusivity is at the heart of its project, and that the launch of Windows 11 is a fine proof of this inclusive desire. Several features had been designed within the operating system to make its use more responsive and flexible.
Microsoft had thus launched Focus, an option launched for people who suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with/without Hyperactivity). Another Microsoft feature, Live Captions, automatically transcribes any audio content for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. While Voice Access allows you to control your PC and create content using voice.
Microsoft and inclusivity: a long story
With this new range of accessories, Microsoft continues to develop its ever more inclusive solutions, and the Redmond firm is working to meet its commitments to a more open technology. As a reminder, this idea is not new, in 2018 Microsoft launched the Xbox Adaptive Controller for video game players.
More recently, blind or visually impaired people have been at the center of the company’s concerns with the Surface Adaptive Kit. The latter makes Surface devices more customizable and adapts them to their use.