A new device called QuadStick is designed to give quadriplegics the ability to play video games without the need for a traditional gaming controller. Instead, it uses a series of sip and puff sensors, a lip position sensor, a push switch, and voice commands to represent the inputs of a standard video game controller.
The device is powered by a 32 bit ARM processor that translates the various inputs into commands that are then transmitted to the console via USB or Bluetooth. A default mapping setup is included but, taking the form of specially-formatted Google Drive Spreadsheets, can be customized by the user, with players also able to switch between preconfigured profiles while playing.
Voice commands are handled by voice recognition software, such as Dragon or Windows Speech Recognition. These will allow players to say specific buttons such as "Square" with a PlayStation controller, or more specific commands for individual games, such as saying "Pick off first" in a baseball game to execute the command.
The device will support PS3 or PC out of the box, and the Xbox 360 and Xbox One are supported with an adapter.
The QuadStick is not the first joystick aimed at making gaming easier for quadriplegics, and is actually a variation of a design by Ken Yankelevitz. To develop the QuadStick, Fred Davison, worked with Yankelevitz, who was unable to build his device anymore due to health issues, .
Davison is seeking funding on Kickstarter and the campaign has already surpassed its US$10,000 goal with plenty of time remaining in the funding period. Backers who would like to receive one of the first QuadSticks will need to pledge $399. The first batch of 25 is expected to be delivered in May, with a followup batch slated for July.
The Kickstarter pitch below provides some backstory on the QuadStick, and shows it in use.