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February 28, 2023

Microsoft’s Release of Adaptive Equipment Is Good News for People with Impairments

Recently, Microsoft released Microsoft Adaptive Accessories. The newly-introduced trio showcases an Adaptive Mouse, Adaptive Button (in three styles), and a core device, called the Adaptive Hub.

The devices assist people in ways that other people take for granted. They help in performing computer-based tasks, such as moving the mouse cursor, double-clicking, or copying and pasting website content. Let’s review some of the highlights.

Some of the Highlights of Microsoft’s Adaptive Technology

The Shapeways 3D-printed mouse tails come in a wide variety of forms to which you can attach the new Adaptive Mouse.

The Adaptive Button can be used as a dual button or a joystick.

As the trio's brain, the Adaptive Hub is designed to replace or supplement a standard keyboard. The Adaptive Hub makes it simple to program keyboard shortcuts and inputs into the brand’s Adaptive Button design.

The trio connects wirelessly or via a USB-C port on the Adaptive Hub to form a harmonious mobile wireless system upgrade.

A broad variety of non-Microsoft accessories can be used with the assistive devices. Consider the system to be open source.

How the Assistive Devices Were Developed

These assistive technology devices are the offspring of Microsoft’s longstanding commitment to the disability community - a commitment that dates back to 1990. It was part of an evolutionary step - a forward leap toward improving, democratizing, and expanding UX design.

For example, the Xbox Adapter Controller was created in collaboration with the disability community by principal UX researcher Bryce Johnson. The device's release marked a paradigm change, inspiring the creation of the Adaptive Kit and, more recently, The Adaptive Accessories.

Historically, the Adaptive Mouse was the brainchild of Microsoft Senior Designer John Hermes. He created the mouse after seeing his daughter, who had cerebral palsy, struggle on a computer.

Expanding Opportunities to the Disabled

Today, Microsoft innovations for adaptivity makes it possible for people with physical or cognitive limitations to enjoy limitless opportunities.

A person is only disabled when the world makes products that do not conform to their needs. Microsoft understood this issue and built Microsoft Adaptive Accessories to empower people with disabilities.

More Information on the Adaptive Technology

Introduced in October 2022, Microsoft's adaptive equipment points to a major breakthrough for people navigating the digital universe. All the devices were developed in alliance with people from the disability community.

The Adaptive Mouse

The Adaptive Mouse features two buttons and a wheel which can be used solely or with the Adaptive Mouse Tail. It also features thumb support so users can use the device left-handed or right-handed.

The Adaptive Hub

The Adaptive Hub represents the centerpiece of the trio, and allows users to link four Adaptive Buttons - with up to five 3.5 mm assistive buttons and switches. It can also be linked wirelessly.

Moreover, the user can create profiles that will connect with the Adaptive Hub for up to three devices - through a USB-C port or wireless link.

The Adaptive Buttons

Adaptive Buttons  are featured in three styles - a joystick and dual button and a D-pad button design. Each highlighted button has eight inputs that can be digitally programmed to perform tasks.

Users can  perform more than one keystroke at a time, program macros, or press a keyboard button using the button technology.

Like the technology’s Adaptive Mouse, the Adaptive Buttons are customizable and use Shapeway brand 3D-printed button toppers.

One More Notable Mention: The XBox Adaptive Controller

You can also enjoy gaming by using the XBox Adaptive Controller. The idea for the controller goes back to its genesis in 2014.

Prices for Microsoft Adaptive Technology

Moreover, the equipment is affordable. Prices range from $14.99 to $59.99 (for the Adaptive Hub) to $99.99 (for the Xbox). Discounts are given to eligible buyers, including teachers, students, parents, and members of the military.


More of us than ever can can own a computer and use it  - thanks to adaptive equipment. Visit the Microsoft Adaptive Website for all the details now.

Contact Us for Help

Contact Northwest Ergonomics & Wellness if you are experiencing a loss of movement, hearing, sight, or any other disability that technology may be able to assuage. You won't know what is possible until you contact the experts. We have a dedicated team of assistive technology specialists who really care about our clients and go the extra mile to find them solutions to keep them productive and happy. You can fill out a form on the contact page, or call us at 206-707-8380.