Inspiration. Tech companies want to highlight their stories on how their products make events like this possible. Microsoft lives this reality and is uniquely positioned to make it happen. I am so glad that they chose this route, and accelerated it with Satya Nadella at the helm.
Source: Data guru living with ALS modernizes industries by typing with his eyes – Stories
Most of this technology that is used in gaming and accessibility ultimately has its roots in the Kinect sensor, essentially gone but not forgotten. Doing backgrounder work on this topic, obvious to me that these sensors allow the software to interpret what is seen and can act upon it, without being called out as such. Down the road as the Virtual Reality market matures, devices like this will be as ubiquitous as smartphones and touch screens are today. Devices such as the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C are an interim step prior to the aforementioned VR.
also posted to my a11y blog @ Tumblr.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Picture credit: Windows Central.
Thank you @JLTechword for pointing this out to the broader audience. Also for bringing an example on a competing/cooperative platform that proves it can be done.
Why Microsoft must bring sign language recognition to Windows and Cortana
Ian Mackay, in Spokane, Wash., with friends Josh Sutcliffe, Jimmy Quenelle and Josh Blaustein during their 13-day ride across the state. (Ian’s Ride Photo) via GeekWire
This is a true inspiration to everyone, not just those that are #a11y friendly.
Quadriplegic man keeps on riding, using tech to enable 475-mile trip across state
H/T: onMSFT—The EyeGaze team (Photo by Scott Eklund, Red Box Pictures)
He, Jeff Petty, was so convinced that he pitched the Office and Windows teams about purchasing an independent company that offered learning and literacy solutions, but the direction he got was to go build it rather than buy it (Shaw, Lee;, & Lay-Flurrie;, 2018, p. 61).
What I find most interesting about this quote from the eBook that Microsoft is providing the participants is that they were told to build it. Microsoft during this period could probably buy almost any company on the planet, especially one of these sizes. They have also been accused over the years of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (“Embrace, extend, and extinguish,” 2018). Granted, that was many years ago, but in the developer community, hard habits and attitudes are resistant to change. The current CEO, Satya Nadella, has done a great job combating this perception of his company, and the Learning Tools project accelerated under his watch. There is still some work to do, as Learning Tools is in the Office 365 (2016) version of OneNote, but not in the Windows 10 version. These two software programs will merge into the Windows 10 version going forward (“Frequently Asked Questions about OneNote in Office 2019,” n.d.).
Microsoft is kicking off today its One Week Hackathon, the largest private hackathon in the world where Microsoft employees will try to find new ideas to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. For the fifth edition of the annual event, participants will be given a new book, “The Ability Hacks,” which looks back at how two hackathon teams created new technology to empower people with disabilities…
Source: Microsoft celebrates “hackers” with release of new book as annual Hackathon begins | On MSFT
I am not really a gamer, having not played significantly since the Super Nintendo days [going way-way back]. There was a social games phase [Candy Crush, Criminal Case, Farmville, etc] but I outgrew that as well, and most gamers don’t consider these Facebook activities gaming. But I digress…
Playing video games has always been a struggle for people who have disabilities, but with the reveal of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, that may not be the case for too much longer. Here’s how the new tech might revolutionize the industry…
Source: How Xbox’s Adaptive Controller could revolutionize gaming for the disabled
I am aware that there are other companies successful in the a11y world. I commend Microsoft for being a leader here..
Today we celebrate the seventh annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day and announce new technology and resources for people with disabilities. The goal of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about accessibility. For us, it’s also about digging deep into how technology can empower the 1 billion people worldwide who have disabilities.
Bringing our accessibility awareness game today and every day – The Official Microsoft Blog
This is the first I have heard of this, but it is very important for everyone to have the opportunity to develop software and solutions. We are all in this together.
It is a bright afternoon in the Microsoft Research India lab. Research Fellow, Venkatesh Potluri, sits at his computer, frantically racing against the clock to fix one last bug before the end of the day. The computer blares into his headphones—not music, but a robotic rendition of the code, as Venkatesh uses a program called a screen reader to access applications on his computer [..]
Source: CodeTalk: Rethinking IDE accessibility – Microsoft Research