2019 seems like a year where more and more talks of accessibility are happening. Companies from different industries have been putting more research and development in this sector to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Microsoft has taken a huge step in its release of the Xbox Adaptive Controller which had its commercial showcased during Super Bowl LIII in 2019. Their “We All Win” ad was seen by millions and became the most talked about “purpose-driven” Super Bowl ad on Twitter. This ad help bring accessibility into the spotlight and we experienced it first hand during the MIT Museum’s Accessible Technology Day. Families and students were stopping by our booth mentioning how they saw that ad and discovered a product that can be used by their friends or relatives.
E3 2019 seemed to have a theme of accessibility. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 that will take a step further in customization from its predecessor. Xbox and Ubisoft added American Sign Language (ASL) and closed captioning to their livestreams of their E3 conferences.
Other companies showing support are Apple and IKEA. Apple announced Voice Control on Mac and iOS during their keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference(WWDC19). With this tech, users will be able to control their Mac or iOS device with just their voice, and be able to do things such as navigate around the computer, launch apps, go to links, move elements on screen, and dictation text. App developers were also focusing more making their applications accessible.
IKEA has teamed up with Unyq to created customized 3D printed gaming accessories. The products will be available globally in 2020 under their UPPKOPPLA collection. By using a smartphone app, you’ll be able to use your phone’s camera to customize the gaming accessories. Their initial line of products will include:
– Biometric wrist support
– Soft pliable, vented keycaps
– Portable mouse “bungee” that clamps mouse cables in place.
What else is in store for the future? We know that Microsoft has put up another patent and it’s for a built-in braille display for their Xbox controller. It’s great to see one of the major companies pushing even more for gaming accessibility. Will the others follow suit? We are excited to see the many possibilities come to fruition!
Prin is a Senior Volunteer with AbleGamers. When she’s not gaming or spending time with her adorable and sweet pup Jäeger, she’s a black belt in martial arts thanks to her father, a Martial Arts Master. Watch her play games and see Jäeger on her Twitch Channel, or see photos of her sushi on her Twitter.