What it does
180 million disabled gamers cannot comfortably play video games. The Proteus Controller is designed to allow disabled gamers easily access the amazing world of video games by providing a Lego-like kit of components that can be assembled in infinite configs.
When Eibhlin and I were kids in play school we would play video games all the time and really enjoyed playing together. We went our separate ways in life and didn't see each other until 2020, when by chance we were put on the same team at a game jam. Naturally we discussed our continued passion for gaming, but I was sad to hear Eibhlin describe that her disability (EDS) meant that she couldn't comfortably play video games for longer than 30 minutes at a time despite it being a huge part of her life. Not only that but in seeking a solution Eibhlin had come across thousands of people online with the same problem and I wanted to do something.
How it works
The kit comes with a range of modules laid out in a clear manner. The main modules are cube-sphere in shape to allow for functional connections at any angle, whilst retaining curved ergonomic surfaces. Both the angular connection and curved surfaces proved important in testing. The mother cube is the brain of the system, and can be connected wirelessly or wired to Xbox, PC and mobile. Modules connect together easily using our patent-pending electromechanical connection mechanism and the modular controller protocol which allows users to build and rebuild their perfect controller effortlessly and efficiently. With just one kit, users can build over 100 million unique combinations of controllers. Due to our design, controllers know how they have been built which enables us to save user configurations to our backend database. Software enabled hardware allows the user to remap buttons and share their configurations with a growing community of gamers
In order to ensure that ByoWave’s solutions actually solve the problem for disabled gamers, ByoWave have done extensive market research and product testing. ByoWave have spoken with hundreds of disabled gamers worldwide on Zoom about their problems and their proposed solutions. This was followed up by a mechanical design test round to validate the design of the controller with disabled gamers around the world. This included a process of Zoom calls followed by sending 3D printed mechanical test kits to candidate gamers to verify the mechanical design of the controllers. ByoWave included a range of disabilities, ages, genders, nationalities and experiences in this key consumer testing. ByoWave have sold 25 beta versions of its Proteus Controller to disabled gamers all over the world including the UK, the US, Canada and Australia as well as Ireland. ByoWave have sold controllers to Enable Ireland and Special Effect UK, specifically for their assistive technology loan schemes to reach even more people with disabilities.
How it is different
The Proteus Controller is the only modular controller kit on the market that can be built in three dimensions. Millions of disabled people worldwide are unable to access the digital world due to the lack of accessible input devices, such as video game controllers, computer mice, and hardware that is used to interact with the digital world. This is especially prevalent in the gaming sector as a video game controller is required to play. There are few accessible input devices available on the market and those that are available are not solving the problem for the disabled community. As every disability is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In addition, research indicates that a larger proportion of the disabled community want to access video games. The Proteus Controller can be built in any combination to serve any user requirement.
For Christmas this year ByoWave is manufacturing 2000 controllers in Shenzen in our production facility and sending these to our distribution partners in conjunction with Microsoft and Logitech. The next 10,000 controllers will be made for Q1 2023.
Engineers Ireland Innovative Graduate Engineer of the Year. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Impact Award. Galway Chamber Award for Accessibility, Inclusivity and Diversity.