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Aibicom, a tool for creating a one-switch interface

Tera Kirk's picture

Komodo OpenLab's Aibicom, or Asynchronous Interpreter of Binary Commands is a development library for making "binary control applications" that use a single button or switch. Aibicom can control two separate domains at once; thus, Michael Dzura could use Aibicom to play a game of Neverball using only one key:

A paper on Aibicom was published in the October 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation

Category Tags
Platform(s): PC  
Developer(s): Kimodo OpenLab  
Topic(s): Gaming with Disabilities  

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Fascinating stuff, Tera.

Fascinating stuff, Tera.

Very interesting idea and I

Very interesting idea and I see how it can be used by those with disabilities. However, it with the game above and the "doodler" you can play with on the website, I have trouble seeing how they can do it without it becoming extremely frustrating given that it is completely random where the pointer goes. For a game like the one shown above, it would probably be better if the one button, instead of making the table tilt in a random direction, just tilted the proper way. That way you're still playing a game but you're not getting frustrating by the thing not doing what you want.

Although they still have a while to go, it's great to see developers reaching out.

Frustrating or fun?

We tested with 30+ people with and without disabilities. Some people definitely got frustrated, but surprisingly enough, a lot of them also thought that having to react to the algorithm's apparently "random" behaviour was a lot of fun. The interesting thing about it is that AIBICOM is actually not random at all... it does follow a very specific pattern, it is just not a pattern someone would be used to, so it feels like it is doing its own thing but it is not. In fact, the paper we published is meant to demonstrate how AIBICOM works so much better than making random selections, which would be pretty frustrating and time consuming. We could not have been able to control Neverball by making random choices!

Most of the participants came around by then end of our tests and were very impressed that they were actually able to play Neverball with one switch. A couple of them also ended up saying that somehow having that random-ish behaviour actually "felt" pretty natural to them.

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