Benheck’s new single handed “Access” controller revealed

Resigned to the fact that people know me as Benheck I put it in this article’s title, to save other web sites a little time rewriting their links. How considerate of me.

Black is the new white!
For a larger version with no captions click here.

Anyway, today I’m going to show you all the prototype for the new single handed controller I have designed and built, which I’ve been calling the “Access Controller”. This is actually the second prototype, a more refined version of the first. Alongside the new Elite-based Xbox 360 laptop (yes, it is coming) this has consumed most of time in recent months, hopefully explaining the drought of new projects.

Here’s the basic principle: You lay this controller on your leg, table or arm of a chair and all the buttons are available on the top surface. The gag is that each of the five sections is removable and you can plug them anywhere you want. This not only makes the controller work for both left and right handed use (simply mirror the layout) but it also allows the user to optimize the button placement on a game-by-game basis. Even if the user has partial use of both hands it should still be easier to work with than a standard controller.

Side view of the controller
In this configuration example the thumb controls the left analog (player movement) where the forefinger is on the right analog. The middle or ring finger can press the analog shoulder buttons.

More details and photos follow below. This unit is currently in pre-production for manufacturing thanks to the folks at eDimensional.com and will first appear as a wireless model for the PS2/PS3, with an Xbox 360 version pending. If you’re interested in obtaining one of these or simply wish to express interest please email them directly at access@eDimensional.com. All other normal inquiries (photo permissions, interview requests, offers to send me free beer) can go to my usual address using the link over on the right.

Sorry, can't show you the guts this time

Here’s a shot of the controller casing before the guts were put in, along with a module. Each module is about 3/4″ thick with a pin header on the bottom. This header connects to a signal bus inside the main unit, which provides each module hole with every possible signal required by the game controller. This allows any module to be placed wherever the user wants and it will retain its original function.

I call shooting things at this angle the

End view of the controller, top. By designing something that would fit the curve of a leg, specifically the top of a thigh, it ended up being shaped like a big hip flask! This wasn’t the original intention (as I am not a fan of hard liquor) but as the controller came together it resembled something I couldn’t quite my finger on it… Until one day when it just hit me. Anyway, fun story for you all.

 

It's all curves and I've got no brakes!

Bottom of the unit. The prototype was an Xbox 360 controller, and as mentioned the first production units will work on the PS2/PS3. The battery position may change, might be 3 instead of 2, but they’ll be in this general area, flush inside the case with a door.

Well that’s about all I have to say about this unit at this time, more details as they become available. Again if you’re interested in this project please email Michael directly using the link above.

Bonus fun story: One day, to test this unit, I sat out on my porch to play Uno on Xbox Live Arcade. I can see the TV in the living room through the sliding glass, so it’s quite doable. So I’m sitting there, drinking a beer with one hand, playing Uno using the controller with the other. But I didn’t put the headset jack in the prototype. So I go into an Uno room and some dude is like “Hey it’s Benheck!”, since, well, my gametag is Benheck. But I can’t say anything because I have no mic. So after a bit the guy is like “Oh, the great and might Benheck is too good to talk to us!” And then I get booted.

So the moral of the story is use your microphone on Uno or you’ll get booted. But fear not, if we do an Xbox version of this controller it WILL have the headset jack, so you’ll be good to go.

88 thoughts on “Benheck’s new single handed “Access” controller revealed”

  1. Dude!

    This is freaking awesome. How are you making the case? It looks like CNC of some sort. Is this one like some of the other controllers you make?

    Cool.
    Ivan Irons

  2. Would this help your buddy any?:
    http://www.claw.com.au/

    I received it about two days ago. Shipping was fast & inexpensive

    While the buttons positions can’t be rearranged, it comes with software that allows all the buttons to be programmed for specific commands.

    I purchased it mainly for World of Warcraft, but it can be programmed for other games.

    The software has a menu that you enter the commands in, so no programming knowledge is required.

  3. About the position of the buttons, would it be possible to place the analog sticks on the left/right side of the unit instead of on the top. I’m referring to the anatomic structure of the thumb itself doing fine movements on a horizontal plane (as in controlling the aim of a gun). The thumb does not sit flat like the fingers do. It sits vertically. Seems to me it’d be much easier to control if the stick could be positioned similar to the side buttons on a mouse.

    Just a thought from a single-handed player…

  4. What can I say? Gimme! I’ve been using an Ascii Grip V2 – my wrist gets really worn out from supporting the weight of the controller, and the wire is wearing out at the base! Plus there are a lot of buttons that are useless because of placement.. X_x
    Thanks for your work, Ben, and Godspeed!

  5. Im a Halo junkie myself and I have a cousin that games but cant play Halo because hes paralyzed on one side of his body so I wanted to see if there was anyone doing anything about it online. Im glad to see that there are individuals like yourself using innovated thinking to come up with ways to make the once impossible, possible for the many gamers out there (like my cuz) that can benefit from this. simply put -You Rock dude. Good luck in all your future projects! …oh yah and how long till it comes out for the 360?

  6. hi yah,

    i wanna ask about the one hand controller im left handed coz im got the stroke. how much and where to get it coz i wanna see it so i know what is look like. i appriciate your reply in my wife’s email address.

    thanks very much!

    paul holliday

  7. Hi, I lost the use of my left arm some years ago. i love playing the PS2 and would like a go at the X box but up till now there has been no way i could play it. The main problem is that they love to use the top shoulder buttons and its almost impossible to use these and the other buttons at the same time,so bring on the one handed controler as soon as possible. One other thing i’d like to say is when you make it could you please put something like a bean bag on the underside, one of the main problems i have is trying to stop the controller from sliding away from me. also size does matter,the smaller it is the easier it is to hold it in one hand.

  8. Hi my name is mike and i lost my left arm 3years ago and i have been wating for someone to make a controller so i can play halo again can you help me get back in the game please thank you

  9. as a child i was a video game fanatic. but at ten i started to lose the ability of my left hand. im 18 now and all my friends do is play on the 360. right now im missing out as they play the new resident evil. i love this idea, i just wish you hould have posted instructions on how to build one or where you are selling them (if you are). if you post something like that and if you remember this post please email me at mas97792@yahoo.com

  10. Hey There Ben…I just wanted to thank you soo much for doing this! My daughter was born Dec 25th, 2008, and yes I know that she’s still young but I did think about this..see her father works in the video games industry and we love to play together but I was sad to see that my daughter might not be able to play such difficult games later on. I saw my niece holding on to a controller with both her hands and I almost teared up because I knew that could never be. WEll anyway I know she’s only 5 months old now but by the time she’s of age I know that your concept will be miles ahead and she’ll be a pro at gaming and will be able to play alongside her father.. Again thank you so much for this, I only hope there are more devices to come for the one handed person. She’s left handed by the way.

  11. OMG I so want to cry!!! back around 6 years ago when I got into gaming I looked up online for 1-handed controllers because being 1-handed certain games are a pain in the ass to try to play with the regular controller. Of course back then there was nothing except a dinky one for playstation that when I used pissed me off more than helped. otherwise it was like I was speaking some alien language when talking to gaming product dealers. Sooo I figured back then I was stuck to my fate of having to be creative about useing the standard 2-handed controller which was nothing new I was born with my disability. I was eventually lucky to find that belkin had a suto 1-handed controller with the nostromos n52 so that my mmorpg playing at least was easier. Just today I went and replaced my n52 with the new n52te and I noticed at the store there were more options with gaming pads and mouses for my 1-handedness so to speak but was still thinking “only if they had ones for ps2, ps3, and xbox 360″ specially now that my boyfriend and I have been trying to figure out how I could “really” play with him and against him on his Halo games. I at a whim tonight typed in google 1-handed controllers and it was like clouds parted and a stream of sunlight hit your cotrollers picture (heavenly music and everything lol) and I watched your demo youtube video that sure enough used Halo as the example game. so I have been going to different websited featureing your controller and I’m so happy. So I want to say in a nutshell THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR INVENTING THE ACCESS CONTROLLER!!!!! when my boyfriend gets home Im so going to show him the info on it and when I get the chance it’s going to be bought. If I could I’d so hug you for creating the controller. I’m totally having happy tears running down my face as I write this anyway ( I know I’m such a girl about it). Well anyways I just had to write a long epiloge about how happy and thankfull to you and I haven’t even used the controller yet I can’t wait till I actually get to order it. If anything I think it will be the best birthday present ever for myself next month. So like so many other blogs here Thanks again.

  12. second try; I could not get this controller to work with PC games like Medal of honor.where ever keyboard commands or required they would not program into the controller for example the letter W. for forward motion would not enter into the gain set up I could not use the controller if anyone has had success using this controller with PC games like MedaL OF hONORplease let me know.
    thanks rich G.

  13. This controller looks like a great design for gamers who are looking for a Pad based controller for one hand usage. However, I personally would like to see your handed controller that you place on your lap and control everything that way. The pad design looks good for alot of PS2 and some more basic Xbox 360 titles, but the market for gaming on the Xbox right now is definitely FPS-based and frankly, this controller looks like it would be more of a nuisance to use in an FPS game than a convenience. Maybe try and mass produce the other one-handed one? I loved that design and I would definitely buy one if it became mass produced.

  14. My son was in a violent motorcycle accident about 10 weeks ago and to this day still has no use of his left arm. He was telling me that one of the things that pi$$ed him off was that he had just bought the new UFC 2010 game for his PS3 the day before his accident, and he’d only played it once before crashing.
    I have just ordered your product and am very anxious to see how it works out for him. I think for the first couple of days I may even have a chance to beat him at a game or two. That would be a first ;^)
    Thank you for producing this…
    Road Weazel

  15. I was involved in a near fatal motorbike accident 18 months ago and due to a head injury i recieved i have zero movement in my left arm. I love playing my console games but my 360 has been collecting dust. Has this controller been adapted for the 360 yet?

  16. My son is crazy about playing PS3 and I just had to buy your product for his birthday. I’m anxious to see how he will react when he will see it.

  17. We just bought one of your access controllers for the xbox 360, it was a 21st birthday present for my GF’s daughter. She is partially disabled in one hand and finds playing a standard controller difficult. However my point in coming on here is that when we recieved the package from edimensional there are no instructions on how to set this up for the xbox 360. We have a wireless fob, a usb to wireless fob adapter, the Max shooter for xbox 360 and of course the controller. While it may be straight forward to the people who designed it and/or some xbox/pc officianado’s for an average person its not obvious how this all works.

    My assumption (and we know where these lead) is that we first connect a wired controller to the xbox 360 and set it up (synchronise it), then we place the adaptor plus fob in the slot having removed it and everything works. But then where does the Max shooter come in, so idea two is that the max shhoter goes into the xbox and the fob and wired xbox controller are both connected to it??? You see how easy it is to be confused…no instructions mean a lot of messing about and frustration. A single page with a short explanation and a diagram should not be to much to expect.

    Any chance you could point me in the right direction?

  18. My wife had her arm amputated four years ago. she has been watching me play my 360 and I can tell its really bringing her down that we cant play together. So I need help finding an access controller or someone
    who can make me one. If someone could please help us, their time and skills would be rewarded.
    Contact magmo.photo1@gmail.com

  19. hello, the email link above seems not to work for me… I was just wondering where this project is, as I would really love to purchase one of these. Thanks!

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