Electrick: Low-Cost Touch Sensing Using Electric Field Tomography

Very interesting concept to make most objects into touch sensitive controllers. Looks like the next step on from the Makey Makey for do it yourself controllers. Fingers crossed it comes to market.

More information in the videos above and below and at TechnologyReview.com and team member Yang Zhang's web-site.

Via: Mick Donegan.



Four clip-art images of animals. A tiger, two turtles and a dog. Part of Will Wade's switch accessible Snap! game.

Will Wade recently shared his on-line game of the matching game Snap. Press a switch linked to the SPACE BAR when a matching pair appears. There are quite a few options to adjust the game, although I'd like some more if Will gets the chance (pretty please)...

1. Slower timing options for much slower reaction times.
2. An option for just two pictures.
3. Optional audio/visual effects to acknowledge your switch press.
4. An optional short pause after pressing your switch before showing the next selection.
5. Game length measured in time or actual sets of cards (so a game could be measured by 10 sets per game).
6. An optional fun game over screen / play again option.

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Switch Accessible Dice

Dice with 5 spots on a blue back-ground.

Square dice with 6 markings next to the number 6 on a blue background. From a BBC Micro version.

50 different numbers from 1 to 6 from the OneSwitch number generator. For a BBC Micro but available on-line now.

Blocky dice, a one and a six. Result: 7.

French switch accessible Dice. I-De.

MARDIS 1980s BBC Micro special needs switch accessible snakes and ladders.

A nice way to support some switch users to get involved with activities they may struggle with is to enable them to use their own luck.

Switch accessible dice can be used for more things than just a game of snakes and ladders, although that can be fun (a BBC Micro MARDIS 1980s one here and a Kongregate one here). Dice can be used to make random choices from a list of options in art, music, games of all kinds and cooking. It just takes a little imagination to get people involved.

Adapted4Switches Dice: on-line dice by Colin McDonnell. The single die has full speech. There's also a double die. Use a switch set to touch or left-click on the dice itself to roll.

Number Generator and Dice: on-line with robotic speech by me. Can enable a user to randomly select numbers up to 100. The picture above shows 50 dice having been rolled with a single press of a button for no particular reason. :) Can be set up for 0 or a 1 for heads or tails, bingo, lottery numbers or whatever pool of numbers you need.

c1ic.mx Dice: on-line (but not Chrome) double dice. Nice spinning effect. Hold switch for a few seconds to exit into a world of retro games.

I – Dé: French off-line PC dice. Nice shaker effect and optional pictures to match the number on the die.

Physical Switch Adapted Dice: Quite a few possibilities. Get in touch for more info.

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One Handed Controller (PS4 and Xbox One)

One Handed Controller: HORI Super Robot Wars Controller, adapted for Xbox One and PS4

Currently working on offering a top of the range one handed controller solution for Xbox One and PS4. Spent a day programming the brand new Titan Two adapter yesterday to give extra powers. Below is slot 1: Hold SELECT....

+ L-Stick LEFT = Left-stick acts as Left-stick mode (Blue LED)
+ L-Stick UP = Touch-pad mode (White LED)
+ L-Stick RIGHT = D-pad mode (Black LED)
+ L-Stick DOWN = Six-Axis mode (Green LED)

+ L3 = PS/XBOX
+ D-PAD = CHANGE SLOT (between slot 1 or more basic slot 2)

The left or right stick can be switched around using a physical toggle switch. Controls can be remapped on the PS4 or Xbox One via the in-built remapping options. It's slightly more powerful for left-handed players that can reach the physical D-pad with their thumbs. This Should work too on PS3, Xbox 360 and with a firmware tweak, PC and Raspberry Pi too.

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The Wrong Button

Not this, but currently working on an interesting (slightly related) project with William Pilgrim. More soon...


"The Audience" by Sampo Karjalainen


Release (Vectrex)

Release is a superb Vectrex remake of an iOS and Android original by Gimogames. It's a little like Bedlam but your weapon is a hexagonal force that expands outwards as you hold your button. Release the force over enemies to destroy them, with quite a few tactics to learn for better scores.

Playable with a single button or accessibility switch with a switch adapted Vectrex, this is for players with fast reactions and tracking ability. iOS and Android should be similarly accessible.

You can download the game by Vide Malban from his Release site to run in an emulator or copy to a Vectrex flash cart such as (the soon to be released) VecFever. A physical release is also hoped to make it across to Packrat Video Games for use on a genuine Vectrex. Finally, you can pick up nice colour overlays from Vectrex.co.uk or RetroSounds. Dream kit (if they had accessibility switch sockets) below....

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Stare Outs

Image of Young Dracula sitting in an ornate chair, eyes yellow, staring right at you.

The BBC have a growing number of one-switch playable games on their CBBC and CBeebies sites. Unfortunately they're very hard to find. One gem buried away is the cbbc Staring Contests.

In Staring Contest: Young Dracula, your challenge is to out stare Young Dracula. You can play with a webcam and actual blinking, or with the SPACE bar. It's targeted at PC/Mac use, and is a lot of fun.

For those unable to access the game, I was amused to see that there are simple staring games on YouTube. Stareout competitions are probably as old as humans, but it's certainly fun to give children (and adults) the option to have battles against characters such as Tracy Beaker and Young Dracula.

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Wooden One Handed Controller

Natty left handed one handed controller with the housing made of wood. Would be possible to get running on PS3, PS4, Raspberry Pi, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via a Titan adapter. Nice.


One Switch Number Generator

Green, pruple, cyan, white and yellow blocks splattered over a black background. The number 53 is in white under a yellow box.
From top to bottom, 48, 47, 38 and 9 next to blocky coloured balls on a black background.
Giant Teletext number 45
Reads, 9, 25, 43, 48, 49 and 59. A green window gives options to Go Again, Print or Exit.
Blocky Teletext Lottery balls, with options to Go, change rules, choose National Lottery or Thunderball rules, change the options, save or exit.
1995, 2000 Thurrock Care, with options to start a Yes, No and Dice programme, Talk Type word processor, Number Generator and National Lottery, Biorhythms, Musical Keyboard or get help and see credits.
Dice with six black squares and the number 6 next to it in chunky 8-bit graphics.

I've just gone back to my roots and updated my Switch Programmes suite, so that it can be played in a browser and generate current UK lottery numbers with minimal faff. Here's how....

1. Set switch 1 as SPACE BAR.
2. Click this link. Should open up in your web-browser. I use Chrome.
3. Select "Number Generator and National Lottery" when highlighted.
4. Select "National Lottery Rules" then "Go!"
5. Hit your switch to start choosing numbers.

There's lots more to this software. You can make the choice random or more deliberate. You can change the numbers to get involved in different games, such as Bingo, Darts and Roulette. You can use it to run a sweepstake. It can be used to make random choices in art and music creation. It can be used as a cause and effect toy. Use your imagination.  Full instructions here.

Useful other keys are Escape, F12 (Break), A-Z (for manual control) and the up/down cursor keys (to resume auto-scanning and change the speed).

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SENICT: Cause and Effect resources

One of, if not the best resources of cause and effect activities can be found at Ian Bean's SENICT. You'll need a web-browser that will run Flash such as Internet Explorer or Firefox for PlayZone. There are others you can purchase to run on a Windows PC off-line.

Do give Ian's web-site a thorough looking through. He's a legend in the field of assistive technology and has tons of great information and resources there.

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Mellow Mix (Tar Heel Gameplay)

Concentric neon thin circles on a black background. Still from a John Whitney video, adapted for use with switch users.

Abstract (John Whitney 1961)

A variety of patterns (some flashing) created using an ancient computer and camera tricks. Strings and synthesisers. Use your switch to keep the patterns and music moving: every 10 seconds, every 20 seconds or every 30 seconds.

Blue and Green lava projection light. Adapted for use with accessibility switches.

Lava Lamp - Blue Green (Herbert Huber)

Flowing blue and green coloured liquids slowly change shape accompanied by relaxation music. Use your switch to keep them flowing: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

Lava lamps. Orange and green.

Relaxing Lava Lamps (Herber Huber)

A mix of colourful lava lamps and soft slow music. Use your switch to keep them flowing: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

Aurora Borealis, made possible to control with an accessibility switch.

Aurora Borealis

A mix of beautiful colourful night skies with soft piano music. Use your switch to keep them changing: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

Aqua marine illuminated jelly fish against a inky black sea. YouTube video by Herbert Huber adapted for accessibility switch use.

Jelly Fish (Herbert Huber)

Gently floating jelly fish illuminated in many colours alongside mellow music.  Use your switch to keep them swimming: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

Purple lava lamp. Video clip adapted for use with an accessibility switch.

Lava Lamp - Pink / Purple (Herbert Huber)

Flowing purple lava lamp with gentle music. Use your switch to keep the flow: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

Floating above clouds looking at the stars and the moon.

Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)

Floating slowly above the clouds, looking at the stars and the moon alongside the piano music called Moonlight Sonata. Use your switch to keep the music playing: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

Abstract picture of a type of sun rising and breaking into a sea scape.

A Walk (Tycho - Music only)

The lovely opening music that was used in the game Hohokum. Does become a little rowdier further in. Use your switch to keep the music playing: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

View from the corridor of a train on a long snowy journey. Relaxing switch activity.

A Relaxing Train Journey (ASMR)

The gentle clattering of a train on a very long journey amongst snowy forests. No music. Use your switch to keep the train moving: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

Lapping waves reflecting a beautiful sunset on a quiet beach. Set up for use with Tar Heel and switch accessibility for cause and effect use.

Waves and Sunset (Herbert Huber)

Soft rolling waves and a beautiful sunset on a beach. Use your switch to keep the sea flowing: every 20 seconds, every 30 seconds or every 60 seconds.

These all use the Tar Heel Gameplay web-site to create very basic cause and effect switch activities. All you need to do this is to have a YouTube video address and copy it into the "Create a gameplay" utility. Your switch needs to be set to main mouse button, space bar or a specific point on the screen. You can see more of my Tar Heel activities at OneSwitch here.

To find more nice relaxing videos, try searching YouTube with the terms "ASMR", "slow TV" and "relaxation". Check your videos for harsh patterns or flashing if using with anyone with photosensitive epilepsy. Thank you to Herbert Huber for allowing me to back up some of his excellent videos. If for any reason these stop working, there is an alternative PC based system that should work with any video content on or off-line. Just get in touch via OneSwitch.org.uk if interested.

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