OAK Air Switch (PC Kinect)

This is a remarkable and exciting development from RCAST at the University of Tokyo and Microsoft Japan. Kinect PC software that enables multiple switches to be created in thin-air for the user: Observation and Access with Kinect (OAK). The following is mainly cribbed from their video above:

OAK is software created to support people with severe physical disabilities to enable activities of daily living using Kinect for Windows.

OAK can create non-contact switches for the user using the human motion tracking of Kinect.

OAK Air Switch is the software that can create nonexistent but repsonsive switches in the air. The switches are called air switches.

Air Switch Depth mode: In Depth mode, OAK allows you to draw a switch "in the air" (much like Eye Toy buttons, but looking far more responsive). Activating A "Tracking" mode enables the switch to proportionately follow the user to take into account if they shift from their original position.

Air Switch Colour Mode: Drag a switch anywhere on screen. If the pixels change within that box, a switch is activated. This looks like very small changes can be detected, such as a small finger movement.

Face Switch: This enables switches to be controlled using the face, mouth, tongue and eyes.

The potential for this software is huge. Single switches can be tailor made to suit each individual across a broad range of possible motions. The ephemeral nature of the switches means they can be quickly adapted to keep in step with any changing needs, at no extra cost. At the other end, an elaborate array of switches could be created to give huge power. Although the tactile nature of a physical switch is a hard thing to improve upon for many the OAK Air Switch offers such great poential. I wonder when it will be released and for how much. I wonder if it can be used with with the likes of the Cronus to control Xbox 360 games too.

Huge thanks to Brannon Zahand for the links and tip-off. Read more at www.assist-i.net, at their OAK switch PDF and at Microsoft.

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Love this YouTube footage of a young lad called Arlo playing video games on his switch accessible C-SID controller. Via SpecialEffect and their YouTube feed.



Adapted Xbox Joypad from Evil Controllers with Sugru and foam D.I.Y. adaptation

Adapted Xbox Joypad from Evil Controllers with Sugru and foam D.I.Y. adaptation

Sugru is a air-drying rubber compound that suits a lot of potential  D.I.Y. fixes, hacks and mounting needs. One example is the hack above showing a pre-modified Evil Controller Xbox joypad with Kontrolfreek thumb-stick extension, further modified by the user using Sugru.

With thanks to Bill Donegan for sending me some originally. Added to the OneSwitch D.I.Y. area.

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Scuba Scuba

Top 25 Accessible Gaming Web Sites Awards - 2013

The Rezillos: Out of this world; Record cover from a 1950s style D.I.Y. Electronics for Children booklet, with a young boy in jumper and tie, with black wrap-around shade working on an electronics project.

It's a very good feeling to be Five years at the top of 7-128 Software's Top Web-sites for physically disabled gamers. I'm chuffed to bits. I'm just one of a growing range of people, working in this field, trying to remove unnecessary barriers.

OneSwitch.org.uk has been going over ten years now. Back in 2002 and fresher faced, it was built on foundations set out by many others as well as my own discoveries and inventions. Back in 1994 I was especially inspired by the resources my manager Molly Murphy had assembled at the day centre we both worked at.

When I started there I discovered already in place Brilliant Software's accessible games and learning activities for the wonderful BBC Micro using switches, joystick and touch screens. I discovered Snoezelen's (as I understand our Day Centre possibly had the first one in the UK). I also found evidence beyond Rompa and AbleNet equipment of a small range of what looked like D.I.Y. switch accessible items. Beyond the battery interrupters for cassette recorders were tailor built switches and a switch accessible music-box that some home hacker had built. Ah, nostalgia! But there's so much left to do.

Via: 7-128.com - with huge thanks!


My Son's Not Rainman

My Son's Not Rainman: Image of a brown cuddly toy monster running with arms aloft and smiling with gappy teeth. John is a forty one year old comedian and single dad. The boy is ten years old and autistic. He isn't a genius. This is their true story.

"John is a forty one year old comedian and single dad. The boy is ten years old and autistic. He isn't a genius. This is their true story." Click the image above to read the hilarious and touching blog. Love the Disability Top Trumps, Dr. Who and Arcade posts but it's all great.

Via "Fortnight of Fear - BBC". 

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Dive Kick vs. WOTEH 2 vs. Tekken 6

Dive Kick menu screen - with two-button / two-switch play.

Dive Kick screen shot of two players in flight.

Dive-Kick two-button / two-switch accessible fighting controller.

DiveKick is a two-switch / two-button fighting game due out in Spring on PC, PS3 and the Vita. Looks fun, and the controllers use arcade standard jumbo buttons that are pretty easy to mount and illuminate if you wanted to build your own controller.

Reminded me of the two-accessibility switch Tekken 6 I set up at Develop Brighton with SpecialEffect, and later at RE:PLAY 2011. That way used Kick and Punch for your two buttons, and if you held both you'd trigger a grab move. Players at Blackpool almost destroyed the table they were so rough, but the switches survived. Two-buttons is enough for really fun two-player battles. But what about one-switch?

For the ultimate in one-switch fighting controls, I highly recommend trying the PC game Way of the Empty Hand 2 by Graeme Singh. Love that 2009 game, and I'd be well chuffed to see its one-button mechanics featured in the next Capcom, Namco or SEGA fighting game as an option.

Many thanks to Ian Hamilton for the link.

Way of the Empty Hand 2 - one-switch accessible fighting game

Tekken 6 - being played two-switch / two-button style using accessibility switches - not unlike the later DiveKick.

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