Touch Sensitive Gaming on a PC

Image of three iPhones all displaying controller software, making the touch-screen act as a mouse, keypad and more over a PC or Mac.
I've recently been looking at ways to make gaming accessible for people who need lighter controls than standard. As part of SpecialEffect's GameBase, I was asked if I could reduce the weight of a Wii remote. It turns out that it's quite easy to more than halve the weight, simply by leading the batteries out into an external box, and pulling out a few unnecessary components. See the Wii Remote Lite prototype here.

A week later, I've been approached to see if we can find a solution for two teenagers with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They used to be able to play Playstation and Xbox games, but no longer have the strength to use traditional controllers. I at first thought of a touch-sensitive glove patch-leaded up to a switch interface. I then remembered Mobile Air Mouse, which is a way to emulate the mouse and keyboard using the lovely touch-sensitive screen of an iPhone or iPad. That could open up a lot of PC/Mac games, and indirectly older console games via emulation).

Would love, love, love to see something like the Mobile Air Mouse giving super-light touch sensitive control over games consoles. PS3 would likely be the easiest target. Xbox 360 the least likely (see Microsoft Aren't Listening).

Many thanks to Will Wade for the Air Mouse info. Will often passes on really useful accessibility tips my way. This might be invaluable.

UPDATE: My colleague, Bill Donegan, at the Accessible GameBase has just pointed me to a USB external touchpad for the PC, called a Glidepoint SmartCat. We think this could be hooked up to an Xbox 360 using an off the shelf adapter. Wonder if the Peregrine glove might be usable too? Watch this space.

New gaming hardware added to the Accessible Gaming Shop Various section.

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1 Responses to 'Touch Sensitive Gaming on a PC'

  1. # Blogger Gavin

    Thanks much for posting this! We are still working on the issue for the client I mentioned to you. If we can at least get computer access back, that would be a start. The jump to the XBox 360 is ugly.

    Speaking of which, someone from Acidmods is looking for input on their new work hacking controllers for people with disabilities.

    http://www.ablegamers.com/7-gaming-with-a-physical-disability/2938-console-controllers.html  

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