Microsoft’s Ability Summit got off to a spectacular start with the unveiling of a new line of PC accessories designed from the ground up in collaboration with disability communities around the world. These new accessories are highly adaptable and designed to be modular and customizable to meet individual needs.
These new hardware products fall under a new “Microsoft Adaptive Accessories” line and include an adaptive mouse, adaptive hub, and adaptive buttons. All accessories are designed to be modular and configurable, supporting everything from add-ons such as thumb rests or mouse tails, to custom 3D printed add-ons that enhance your specific use cases.
Microsoft says it used its lessons learned from creating the Xbox Adaptive Controller to help shape these new adaptive PC accessories. These devices were designed to help people who may have difficulty using traditional mouse and keyboard designs. The adaptive hub and adaptive buttons can step in to alleviate pain points for those who find it difficult to perform regular tasks on their computer.
Adaptive Buttons sync with the Adaptive Hub, which supports up to four wirelessly connected buttons simultaneously. It also features standard 3.5mm assist tech switches, with three distinct profiles for easy switching between different setups and devices. The buttons themselves can also vary in design and function, with options such as D-Pad, Joystick, Dual Button, or your own custom 3D printed design.
The Microsoft Adaptive Mouse can be customized with Microsoft’s Adaptive Mouse Tail or Adaptive Thumb Support which can be attached to the left or right sides. The mouse itself is made up of three components; the main mouse core (which contains the laser pointer, left/right click buttons, and scroll wheel), the tail extension (which can be 3D customized for use with your own design), and the thumb support.
Microsoft says these new adaptive accessories will launch this fall. Pricing and market availability have yet to be announced. The company also announced a new Inclusive Tech Lab, a division of Microsoft that will learn and develop products with people with various types of disabilities in mind. As a company, Microsoft is committed to empowering everyone on the planet to achieve more, including members of disability communities.
The company also highlighted new accessibility features coming to Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge, and shared resources on how Xbox game developers can make games more accessible.