New AI devices make computing easier for people with special needs

Alex Dunn has created Enabled Play, an excellent suite of assistive tech to help people play video games and use computers more easily. The AI-driven devices are powered by Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi Zero W, with new versions featuring our Compute Module 4 already in the works.

What do the devices do?

Enabled Play devices can be set up to help users with any level of ability to control their technology in more personalised ways, such as voice commands, facial expressions, body gestures, and virtual buttons.

Custom cases designed to house Enabled Play devices

There are currently two devices:

  • Enabled Play Controller
    • Powered by Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 2GB
    • Includes on-device dual channel microphones by Seeed Studios
    • Includes support for bringing a custom webcam or mic and connecting via USB
    • Custom case
  • Enabled Play Controller Lite
    • Powered by Raspberry Pi Zero W
    • No included mics or camera support (must use the app’s offline speech and vision)
    • Custom case
A prototype for Alex’s new device, built on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

And there are also two new devices already in the works:

  • Enabled Play Controller v2
  • Enabled Play Controller Lite v2
    • Powered by Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
    • Includes on-device dual channel mic from Seeed Studios
    • No included support for computer vision (must use the app’s vision)
A swift three-ish minute video explaining how it all works

The Enabled Play app lets users set up and register their device via Bluetooth, and then create their custom device profile. It’s this profile that is tailored to the needs of the user, allowing them to use their computer or gaming controller in the way that they want by mapping different commands to different buttons or other inputs.

enable play video screengrab
We really love this project video Microsoft made, featuring brief but key scenes with dogs

Developing pre-built custom profiles

Alex worked with education departments in the US to develop a ton of pre-built profiles for their students, as well as working with their computer science departments to develop programs where their students can create apps on top of the Enabled Play platform to help their fellow students. He also partners with gaming accessibility groups like Able Gamers Foundation to pre-build profiles and get devices into people’s hands.

The original prototypes are all open source. And you should keep up with Alex on Twitter for the sole reason that his handle is @Suave_Pirate.

1 comment

Vincent avatar

I have been working on something similar, just with different design and programming language. Way to go @Suave_Pirate.

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