Microsoft has been putting a lot of effort into building more inclusive solutions for all of its users over the past few years, and at its Microsoft Ability Summit, it announced new updates on that front.
It has launched the Inclusive Tech Lab, which is a successor to a lab that was created by the Xbox team. The purpose of the lab will be to “to learn and develop specifically for people with various types of disabilities.” Compared to the original lab, this one is larger and will be more equipped to bring in visitors who can participate in the product-making process.
Though the lab will showcase Microsoft’s accessible hardware, software, and services, it will mostly serve as a design incubator for inclusive products.
“It is a place designed to demonstrate what is possible when you intentionally and proactively include people with disabilities in the product-making process and strive to build products that are genuinely inclusive by design,” Dave Dame, director of accessibility at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.
The company also revealed new adaptive accessories for people who might have difficulty using a mouse and keyboard.
The adaptive accessories consist of three main components, an Adaptive Mouse, Adaptive Hub, and Adaptive Buttons.
The Adaptive Mouse can be customized with the Microsoft Adaptive Mouse Tail and Thumb Support to make a unique mouse. The Thumb Support accessory also includes the ability to customize it to switch sides for left or right-handed users.
The Adaptive Hub and Buttons can be used together to replace traditional keyboards. Options for button toppers include a d-pad, joystick, or dual button, or users can 3D print their own button topper to suit their specific need.
These adaptive accessories will be officially launched in the fall.