Microsoft may be working on an Xbox controller with built-in Braille support

This controller makes sense, given Microsoft's larger gaming accessibility push

A recently discovered Microsoft patent application points to a new Xbox controller that features built-in Braille support.

As spotted by LetsGo Digital, a patent filed by Microsoft on October 25th, 2017 describes a controller with “Braille input and output and with haptic feedback.”

According to accompanying images, the patented device would include six paddles attached to the back of the controller which allow the user to read Braille. Specifically, these paddles correspond to the six dot positions on a Braille-coded character, which would, in theory, let the user chord or input text.

Meanwhile, the haptic feedback functionality would, presumably, let users receive specific messages through different vibrations, which would similarly be useful for the visually-impaired.

Xbox Braille

While the controller would likely end up being Xbox-branded, the patent notes that it is intended for use with all manner of PCs, consoles, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Although patented devices oftentimes don’t even see the light of the day, a controller that supports Braille would definitely fit into Microsoft’s larger vision for gaming. As detailed by Xbox chief Phil Spencer last June, Microsoft’s goal is to bring gaming to as many people as possible.

To that end, the company released the Xbox Adaptive Controller last September, an accessibility-minded device that makes it easier for people with limited mobility to play games.

On a broader level, Microsoft is also working on its mysterious Project xCloud service, which aims to stream console-quality gaming experiences to all kinds of devices, including smartphones. The idea is to eliminate the need for expensive hardware by letting people streaming AAA experiences to even their entry-level devices.

In any case, Microsoft will reveal more about its future gaming plans during its annual briefing at the Electronics Entertainment Expo on Sunday, June 9th.

Via: Variety