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Microsoft designs an Xbox controller with Braille

Its next adaptive controller could be designed for visually impaired gamers.

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US Patent and Trademark Office

Microsoft is clearly invested in adaptive gaming controllers. Its Xbox Adaptive Controller for Xbox One and PC was the star of its latest Super Bowl ad. The company spent more than a year designing accessible packaging, and it recently teamed up with the Department of Veterans Affairs to bring Xbox Adaptive Controllers to rehabilitation centers across the US. Now, it looks like Microsoft could be working on a controller for blind and visually-impaired gamers. The company filed a patent application for a controller with Braille inputs and outputs.

The patent drawings look similar to the current Xbox One controller, with the addition of paddles along the bottom that would allow players to enter text or commands via Braille. The paddles would also vibrate to provide outputs in Braille. Those might, for instance, communicate what's happening on the screen or relay text conversations. The patent also mentions a Braille accessory that might be removable and could provide additional Braille input and output capabilities. In the drawings, that accessory appears to be a small, rectangular patch on the back of the device.

Of course, this is only a patent application. There's no guarantee Microsoft will ever fully develop the device, but it would be a novel and likely welcome product. At the very least, this shows Microsoft isn't done dreaming up adaptive controllers.

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