To induct its new Inclusive Tech Lab, dedicated to the design of innovative products for people with disabilities, Microsoft took advantage of its Ability Summit on Tuesday to present a whole gallery of new PC accessories that complement the controller and the stickers already launched. .
Accessibility for all products, all services and all accessories. That everything that is created within Microsoft is usable by everyone, regardless of their physical situation and their possibilities. This has always been Satya Nadella’s mantra and the message sent to the Redmond campus teams.
This radiates in the overall philosophy of the company, but also in each launch. And it’s probably not without reason that the firm has been organizing its Microsoft Ability Summit for more than 10 years after also holding an Xbox Accessibility Showcase last year. The opportunity to take stock of the latest innovations concerning both Windows 11, the Edge browser and gaming at Xbox or even the overall operation at Microsoft.
A new lab to be a spokesperson
The new edition of the accessibility summit held this Tuesday was no exception to the rule. But it was also an opportunity for the Redmond firm to present its brand new Inclusive Tech Lab, successor to the original laboratory launched by the Xbox team in 2017 to design the adaptive controller to the success that we know. A controller that has clearly changed the lives of players with disabilities.
And it is with this same desire to facilitate access to technologies that the new lab will come into operation, “to learn how to develop specifically for people with various disabilities“explains Microsoft. “Through the accessibility of technology, we can positively impact the way people learn, work, live and playsays Dave Dame, Product Accessibility Manager at Microsoft.
The space will therefore receive company employees who want to invest in the accessibility of products, software and services, but also partners and members of the community in a modular space adapted to different needs. “We want to make the Inclusive Tech Lab an ambassador for people with disabilities, not a space for them“, we hammer internally.
New accessories even better adapted
And to support the philosophy as much as to show the extent of the increased possibilities of the lab, Microsoft has unveiled a new range of suitable accessories. Last year, the Surface Adaptive Kit made Microsoft products even easier to use for people with physical or visual disabilities with a series of tabs and stickers to identify devices. This year, the range is growing.
Microsoft announces an Accessibility Kit for Surface products. It’s ingenious, complete, to facilitate use for people with disabilities thanks to stickers, fasteners and other systems. Without the need to modify the product.
— Melinda Davan-Soulas (@Melinda_DS)
Each element has been designed in collaboration with the community of disabled people to ensure that the use is optimal, the way the mouse or the keyboard can respond to a motor problem in particular, but also is easier to use with their everyday software. For this, a wide range of mutually compatible accessories is offered.
Here we find an adaptive mouse that can be personalized according to one’s physical needs and abilities. Mouse designed in 3D possibly on demand, its tail extension at the back, its thumb support which can slide to the right or left, or its heart are announced adaptable.
But the heart of the matrix will perhaps be the Microsoft Adaptive Hub, a central hub that will allow wireless configuration and management of up to four adaptive buttons. This small support also has USB-C ports. It is possible to define three profiles according to the devices.
Some of the buttons and accessories offered to go with the hub include a joystick, a D-pad, a double button or a custom button that you can also have 3D printed to meet specific needs. It all works with any product. Windows.
All these accessories will be available next fall. No price has yet been communicated.
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