One Handed Controller ULTRA

One Hand Controller ULTRA for reconfigurable accessible gaming on PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. Basic mode works on Playstation 2.

UPDATE: This no longer includes the extra Xbox360 joypad, but will now work on everything mentioned below plus Xbox One and if a Windows PC is used, PS4 too.

I've added a One Handed Controller ULTRA option to the OneSwitch.org.uk Accessible Gaming Shop. It's £160 for a limited time plus postage, so not cheap, but it is very powerful for the one handed player. Here's what you can do with it...

• Use with a Playstation 2 (basic use only).
• Use with Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.
• Access 10 control configuration modes at the press of a button.
• Reconfigure these modes as you wish using a PC.
• Emulate some basic six-axis motion controls.
• Use as a Mouse on a Windows PC.
• Use the Xbox Joypad at the same time, perhaps using your feet.
• As good for left as right handed one-handed play.
• Add latching, auto-fire, control cycling and more (requires a PC link)

You can download the supporting software from OneSwitch.org.uk. Nothing on the horizon yet for Xbox One nor PS4 (what a suprise!) so this may be the best solution yet for one handed gamers.

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Luke Lundin and SpecialEffect


Love the SpecialEffect video above of the difference Luke's tailor-made controller made for him. Luke had a design for a controller in mind that placed the inaccessible shoulder buttons flush with the face buttons and gave him the ability to use them as normal, or in latched mode. SpecialEffect got involved and that's when stuff started to come together.

The build took an original Playstation Dual-Shock controller (which has digital shoulder-buttons instead of the later analogue ones), and paired it with four flip-flop kits for latching, a power-supply and some extra buttons and LEDs. Then adapters were added to convert this PS2 controller to work on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

There was a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing to get it all right, but we got there with huge thanks to Mark Heath of Excitim with the latching circuit work and Bespoke Arcades for building the housing so well.

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Skoog going main-stream


Straight from Skoog HQ...

"Happily Apple have decided to join the skoog-musical revolution, making it available on its website, across Europe. We hope this will raise the profile of accessible music making, new musicians and alternative approaches to making music across the world.

The film features a new composition composed especially for Skoog by Nigel Osborne, called 'Let's Do This'. The music forms the backbone to the film and, drum track aside, all the parts are played on Skoog. Skoogmusic has already commissioned remixes of the piece from Lyn Levett (Charles Hazelwood's Paraorchestra) and Charlotte White (Drakemusic and Enableus). We will be sharing all the note files, skores and loops from the original recordings to inspire Skoogists around the world to create their own interpretations of the piece.

Our goal with Skoog has always been to make music-making as accessible as possible, and through the Apple Store this dream is starting to become a reality. We are now able to bring the Skoog to many more people across the world. The Skoog software is now available to download in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. With the User Manual available in the Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian and Swedish as well!"

Skoog on the Apple store. Works on PCs too by the way! Fantastic to see the dreams I first saw in 2006 coming to fruition. Fantastic to see such an accessible musical instrument making its way into the mainstream. Long may it continue to improve.

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Switch Adapted Action Camera

Switch adapted accessible video camera camcorder, the Drift Ghost HD with OneSwitch adapted blue-tooth handset, Trabasack and two Able-net switches.

Switch adapted accessible video camera camcorder, the Drift Ghost HD with OneSwitch adapted blue-tooth handset, Trabasack and two Able-net switches.

Switch adapted accessible video camera camcorder, the Drift Ghost HD with OneSwitch adapted blue-tooth handset close-up.

Drift HD Ghost handset modes - GREEN = Video, BLUE = Photoburst, YELLOW = Photo, PURPLE = Timelapse.

Switch adapted cameras are quite rare. Beyond Excitim's excellent £270 10MP Canon camera I'm not sure there's anything else out there right now. I wondered if I could find something a little different for a customer and tracked down the £250 Drift Ghost HD action camera (which needs an SD card plus the £80 adaptation to the supplied remote, so works out about £60 more). Not cheap, but it's pretty fantastic if you can live with the fish-eye lens perspective. By the way, the Trabasack works brilliantly with this.

This camera is tough and can cope being out in the rain and shaken about. You can mount it in a variety of ways with the supplied velcro strap and alternative stick-on mounts. You can rotate the lens so that the image you record is the right way up (or wrong way up if you prefer). It takes photos up to 11MP, has a 3.5mm socket for an external stereo microphone, and a really simple interface. Here's how it basically works...

  1. With the camera on, hold the "Action" button on the remote to pair it with the camera via blue-tooth. You can't use switches for this.
  2. LED colours (on both the camera and the remote) denote which mode the camera is in. Green = video mode, Cyan/Blue = photo-burst mode, Yellow = traditional photo mode and Purple = continuous photos at set-intervals until you hit a switch. Use the second switch to cycle through these modes.
  3. Use the first switch for "Action". I.e. take photos or videos. The LEDs turn red when recording. A held press or two-seconds turns the camera off. N.B. This may be an issue for some users.
If you have a Drift Ghost HD camera you'd like for me to adapt please get in touch. Worth mentioning too that you can link this to an iOS device too to control it. I'll be adding a DIY guide soon too if you fancy taking it on yourself.

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Where's Your Head At?





Some very interesting looking games above using the Oculus Rift head-set with head-gestures, or eye-tracker technology. See more at Aldin Dynamics, Unity Forums and SensoMotoric Instruments.

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Apple add better switch access to OS X

Apple Mac OS X Switch Access. Image of a Mac Book with switch and switch interface.

The latest update to the Apple Mac operating system (OS X) holds great news for switch users with built-in switch access. I still think a PC is the platform of choice for switch gamers, but it's brilliant to see Apple continue to lead the way with built-in access. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and others, please take note. You're lagging badly.

Much more info on this update on Steve Lee's excellent Opening Accessibility blog

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Eye Tracking on PS4: Proof of Concept Work

SMI RED-oem eye tracking technology alongside Sony PS4 and accessories

When I read "SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) eye tracking technology empowers Sony's Magic Lab to develop new gaze interaction game concepts for the PlayStation 4" I was always going to be interested. See 1 minute in, in the video below.

I'm yet to get my hands on a PS4 or Xbox One, but so far there's little info out there on any accessibility efforts Microsoft or Sony have made. I hope the people behind this can see beyond the "cool" and think about what this could do if given a fraction of the power Alt-Controller has with the PC.

Via: PR Newswire


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HAPP


I had the recent pleasure of testing out a Huff and Puff Processor 100 (or HAPP100 for short) thanks to Graham Law of Celtic Magic. This clever device gives powerful control over a PC by using a range of sipping and puffing actions. It's very accurate for mouse control over a PC for activities that do not have time constraint pressures, once you get your head around the method used.

For those needing something like an Eye Tracker with very limited (or no) head-movement, but unable to afford such technology, this is a very welcome alternative. Prices start around the £380 mark in the Celtic Magic shop.

Added to the Accessible Gaming Shop Head Controls section.

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D.I.Y. Switch Adapted Franklin Sports Pitching Machine


The Franklin Sports Pitching Machine is fun when used for purpose or as a ball throwing machine to play with a dog. You could also mount it to a wheelchair and use it for target games too. It's an absolute breeze to adapt for switch use if you're handy with a drill and a soldering iron. If you don't have a soldering iron, you could always use SUGRU (see this Tattoo Switch for the idea).

You will need: A Franklin Sports Pitching Machine No. 6696S3 (try Google). A 3.5mm mono switch socket (I like PRO SIGNAL - MJ-073H sockets from Farnell). A drill and drill bit (Likely 5.5mm or 7.5mm). A short-length of wire (e.g. 16strand/0.2mm wire). Tape or shrink wrap. A soldering iron and lead-free solder or a small pouch of SUGRU. Screwdrivers. Wire strippers or a knife (be careful). Accessibility switch.

1. Remove Battery cover underneath.
2. Remove the four rubber feet then the six screws. Carefully pull the base apart.
3. Cut the black cable that leads to the battery terminal (encircled in yellow below) and expose 1.5cm of bare wire at each end.
4. Drill a hole for your 3.5mm switch socket. Try to pick a clear space.
5. Solder/SUGRU two lengths of wire to the switch socket. Fit the socket, then connect to the previously exposed wires as pictured below. Use tape or shrink-wrap to insulate the join.
6. Reassemble.

Insert 4x D batteries, turn the unit on, then test with an accessibility switch. Have fun! Should work something like these YouTube videos: Unadapted and Adapted.





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C-SID ULTRA

Colin McDonnell playing a PS2 game with an accessible C-SID controller with joystick.

Dominic playing a PS3 or Xbox 360 game using a C-SID accessible controller.

Love the two-pictures above of gamers playing using C-SIDs. Colin of the brilliant Adapted 4 Switches pictured at the William Merrit DLC and Dominic at SpecialEffect who collectively do dazzling invaluable work.

These are straight forward C-SID controllers, that allow you hook up switches and some joysticks. You can also swap the function of the joystick between D-PAD or either thumb-stick.

The "Ultra" part is linked to a couple of C-SID accessories I'm working on, one being a speed controller for driving games that are too fast. Second being making use of a PC as an extra "brain" for making games more accessible. This means any switch or control on the C-SID can be given more power, such as auto-fire, latching, control cycling and more. Additionally, it's possible to add extra PC standard controls, such as a real analogue joystick.

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Normal Service Will Resume...


Linked to some powerful game accessibility solutions I'm currently tying together, I've just uploaded a page on the Cronus Device plus the layout standards I have formed. This will be a part of making the following possible on PS3 and Xbox 360:
  • Reducing and simplifying controls. More one and two-switch games. More power to simplified control scheme of other types.
  • Control combinations, such as adding a PC analogue joystick to a C-SID and/or foot pedals added to a standard arcade stick.
  • Easy configuration profile switching once set-up. Hit a switch to cycle through an almost unlimited range. Sound effects and speech can be used for those unable to read profile names.
  • Control latching, auto-fire, profile cycling, binding multiple-controls to one button, analogue sensitivity adjustments, making digital sticks emulate varying sensitivity and more.
Once this stuff is in place, I'll be looking to resume my book of one-switch games. I know... just in time for the PS4 and Xbox One. That's game accessibility. Always playing catch up.

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OneSwitch Work In Progress

OneSwitch assistive technology, work in progress. An adapted Xbox 360 joypad, VRAA! box, External thumb-stick, Vibro capsule and Ablenet Switch

Above is a some work in progress at OneSwitch. You can see an adapted wired Xbox 360 joypad, VRAA! box, external joystick, Vibro-capsule and Able Net Big Red switch. So what can it do?

The VRAA! box (bottom-middle) is primarily designed as a speed limiter for car games. By adjusting the rotary dial, you can limit the top speed of your car to make it easier to control. This can be latched on using the on/off switch, or controlled with a plug-in switch such as the big red one pictured.

The small external thumb-stick is designed to be hand-held or mounted into a suitable place (using Velcro or No More Nails removable strips). It's comfortable for some to be used hand-held, but equally so can be used as a chin-joystick with an appropriate mount.

The Vibro-Capsule allows you to place it in a pocket or up a sleeve so that the player who may not be able to hold the Joypad can benefit from haptic-feedback.

The accessories all connect to the wired Xbox 360 joypad, which can be used as is, or added to a C-SID with an Xbox 360. It can also be used with a PC and with additional Cronus Adapter with a Playstation 3. I'm just working on getting the cables right at the minute then will be looking to make these available as soon as I can alongside the Cronus Device with supporting profiles.

Keep an eye on the blog for more. Lots of exciting stuff going on in the background with the Cronus too and some less expensive solutions. 

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