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  • Writer's pictureEarSwitch

Democratising gaming with advanced technology

Updated: Feb 22, 2023



How EarSight™ can open up the world of gaming for people with assistive needs


The ‘purple pound’ – the purchasing power of disabled people – is estimated by disability charity Scope to be worth £274 billion. The charity also discovered that disabled gamers are more likely to view gaming as their primary hobby and spend more time per session than non-disabled players.


Yet in a recent survey, it was found that 66% of gamers with an impairment say they face barriers to taking part.


These include poor accessibility to games, negativity from other gamers online, and the sensitivity of controllers. But the biggest barrier was the affordability of suitable assistive or adapted technology.


There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK alone, and 19% of working-age adults are disabled. This is a large consumer market keen to be engaged.


US Consulting firm Accenture found that organisations that champion disability inclusion are likely to attain 28% higher revenue, double the net income and 30% higher economic profit margins.


These figures all point to the fact that embedding accessibility into games, hardware and software is not only good for people’s quality of life but simply makes good business sense.


Here at EarSwitch™, we’re excited to work with companies keen to embed our leading Headphone 3.0 technology into their products to improve the gaming experience for all, and to bring fairer play into the lives of gamers with disabilities.


EarSwitch™: Levelling the playing field


In an industry dominated by accessories for able-bodied players, disabled gamers with hand and arm impairments and disabilities that affect dexterity are underserved and disadvantaged.


EarSight™ is the technology that could level the playing field for disabled gamers.


EarSwitch™ was founded by Dr Nick Gompertz, a UK-based GP. Inspired to help people with motor neurone disease and cerebral palsy communicate better, Nick realised the ear may hold the key to transforming the lives of people with all kinds of disabilities.


The patented technology Nick and his team has developed is intuitively and silently controlled by a tiny muscle in the ear.


With EarSight™ technology, users with disabilities have the chance to transcend the physical challenges traditionally posed by gaming. EarSight™ could help remove the limitations of hand-held devices and enhance the gaming experience for players – especially those with disabilities.


The benefits of bringing the experts in


According to US charity Ablegamers, People with disabilities are 51% more likely to be socially isolated than their non-disabled peers. Many of these people turn to gaming online to build communities, make friends and connect with like-minded people.


Yet Xbox’s accessibility and community advisors still find it necessary to point out, among other things, that players with disabilities should be included in the design process. You don’t know what you don’t know, right?


That’s why EarSwitch™ has an advisory group of expert users to help in the development of our technology, and we actively connect with people with lived experience of the gaming world.


If you’re reading this, it’s likely you work with gaming hardware or software and have an interest in how to improve your products. Respondents to the Scope survey advised companies like yours that the smallest changes could make a difference to disabled gamers:


  • Consider a diverse range of characters – representing disability

  • Improve the accessibility of games and the useability of hardware

  • Clearly communicate accessibility features pre-purchase so disabled gamers don’t lose money on non-refundable items


If you are a disabled gamer and would be interested in taking part in future trials of our technology, please get in touch.


And to discuss how you could get your hands on our patented EarSight™ technology for your products – contact us today.


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The disability charity Scope is building a pool of disabled gamers willing to share their experiences to improve accessibility and inclusion in gaming. If you would like to address how you could improve disability inclusion in your own business, and reach Scope’s expert gamers for insight into your product or services, you can contact the charity at gaming@scope.org.uk.

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