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And the company consolidates its accessibility research into a single, broadly focused facility.
Microsoft made a big splash when it introduced its Xbox Adaptive Controller for gamers with disabilities a few years ago, and followed up with its low-tech Surface Adaptive Kit for laptops last September. Now, it’s introducing a new general-purpose line of adaptive accessories that the company announced Tuesday. The new peripherals were announced alongside a new research facility called the Inclusive Tech Lab, signaling the company’s commitment to further supporting users with varied accessibility needs.
Slated to launch in the second half of the year, the initial products are a modular Adaptive Mouse, four Adaptive Buttons and the Microsoft Adaptive Hub for wirelessly pairing the various input devices.
All the accessories are created with the intent to support third-party components. The mouse is composed of a small central core, the technology part, to which you add the pieces most suited to your navigation needs, supporting both left- and right-handed operation. They can be Microsoft’s official components, the Adaptive Mouse Tail and Thumb Support (a traditional back with a gaming-like thumb rest) or custom 3D-printed ones.
The Adaptive Hub supports up to four Adaptive Buttons, as well as standard 3.5mm assistive tech switches, and can store three profiles for use with different devices. Like the mouse, you can choose from various button toppers — such as a D-pad, joystick or dual button — as well as add 3D-printed custom toppers.
Since availability is still a bit further out, we don’t have any pricing or information about bundles.