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Xbox Controller With Braille Capability (Could Be) in the Works

A new Xbox controller with “braille input and output and with haptic feedback” is seemingly in the works by Microsoft, according to a pending patent application spotted by Let’sGo Digital.

The document details the device and how it would work, and shows diagrams of six paddles attached to the underside of the controller which allow the user to read Braille, enabling blind or sight-impaired users to enjoy games.

The patent application was filed in 2017, then published in 2018 before surfacing, perhaps thanks to the patent’s updated application status as “pending” as of Monday.

The controller is noted as giving “haptic feedback.” This means that it can give some sort of touch feedback, such as a vibration, to indicate functions entered. It is also compatible with voice input which can be adapted to Braille.

The description also details that the controller can be configured to a computing device, and not specifically an Xbox console.

“It will be appreciated that the computing device may be a personal computer, gaming console, laptop, tablet, mobile device, and the like,” it reads.

If the controller is in the works, it would certainly be in line with Microsoft’s gaming head, Phil Spencer’s vision of “gaming for everyone.” The Variety 500 recipient aims for more inclusivity in gaming, particularly when it comes to making games more accessible.

Last year, Microsoft revealed its Xbox Adaptive Controller, which helps people with limited mobility enjoy games.

Microsoft is also looking beyond the console, aiming for “console-quality gaming on any device” with its planned game streaming platform, called Project xCloud, so the controller working on any device is an important distinction.

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