Controllers often contain many operating elements like cursor keys, motion control or even a tiny keyboard on the bottom. This makes use by elderly persons difficult. The Join-In users therefore asked for an easy-to-use controller.
The Join-In Controller
include a gyro and motion sensor
has only a very few buttons and haptics suitable for the target users
fits different sized hands
Based on user requirements a series of foam models were designed and evaluated by the target group users and two design models developed. A websocket manager, which was developed for Join-In, enables 3D motion and angular data available for browser games.
The figure describes the "senior-specific features" of the Join-In Controller.
The Join-In controller was tested with a simple browser game called “Nail hunts Balloon”’. This has large menu items and van be played by two players simultaneously.
The results with the elderly individuals showed, that gyro based controllers are well accepted by the elderly individuals when the following prerequisites are met
Prior experience with a computer mouse
Easy to catch user interface items which are accessible by a 2-button mouse
A certain mobility of the fingers
Persons with arthritis in their fingers help themselves by holding the controller with one hand and pressing the buttons with the forefinger of the other hand. This causes an unwanted tilt. This asks for improvements, e.g. a partly pressure-sensitive controller body which would allow a smooth switching.