Microsoft has announced a new set of accessibility focussed accessories, set to release for sale later this year. The new peripherals include a mouse and a button that can be customized into a joy stick, D-pad or multiple buttons.
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The key to customization is 3D printed accessories that can be used to customize the mouse and buttons to suit a user’s needs. The Adaptive Mouse is a flat, square puck, but it can be modified with a standard thumb support, tail extension, or 3D printed tails as are requited.
The Adaptive Button, meanwhile, has eight digital programmable inputs, and can be modified into various different roles because of that. It could be a single button, a dual button, D-pad or joystick. For the D-pad, there’s both convex and concave variants, but again, 3D printing will allow for it to be adapted to suit a user’s requirements.
The buttons rely on the Microsoft Adaptive Hub, which can support up to four Adaptive Buttons, bridging them over to up to three devices wirelessly or via USB-C.
While it follows in the footsteps of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, these new accessories come out of the Microsoft Surface department and are a new ecosystem of controllers that are focussed more on enhancing Windows and PC users, as opposed to video games. It remains to be seen if there will be some form of interoperability between the two, but we certainly hope so – the more options the are, the more flexible and compatible they are, and the more tailored they can be, the better for everyone that needs them.
No prices have been announced for the new accessories, but the Xbox Adaptive Controller comes in at $ 100, which set a comparatively low bar for entry compared to the specialized buttons and controls that you plug into it. Hopefully Microsoft will follow that ethos and keep prices low for these new accessories too.
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