EA is opening the patents for a few of its accessibility tech

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Digital Arts is pledging to open the patents for a few of its accessibility-related tech, together with the much-celebrated Apex Legends ping system, the corporate introduced at this time. EA says it gained’t file infringement lawsuits in opposition to individuals or corporations for utilizing tech that falls below patents listed within the pledge.

The ping system in Apex Legends, which permits individuals to play the team-based sport with out listening to or talking, has been praised each as a formidable various to voice chat and as an important accessibility characteristic for gamers with quite a lot of disabilities. A patent that covers the system (US 11,097,189) was issued the identical day as EA’s announcement of the pledge.

Together with the ping system patent, EA is opening patents for the tech it makes use of in Madden and FIFA to make them extra accessible for individuals with colorblindness and low imaginative and prescient. The tech consists of automated techniques for enhancing visibility by detecting and modifying colours (US 10,118,097) and distinction ratios (US 10,878,540).

Screenshot from Madden 21, showing different options of plays, with color contrast adjusted for color blindness.

The Tampa Bay play calling display screen in Madden NFL 21 with shade blindness settings set to deuteranopia, simulated as seen by somebody with red-green shade blindness.
Picture: Digital Arts

The pledge additionally features a patent for a “customized sound expertise” (US 10,878,540) that can modify or create music for individuals based mostly on their listening preferences and degree of listening to, although EA says this tech hasn’t been developed but.

Along with opening a few of its patents, EA is open-sourcing code that helps tackle points with brightness, distinction, and colorblindness in digital content material. Builders can discover the code on GitHub and adapt or construct on it for their very own video games.

“We hope builders will benefit from these patents and encourage those that have the sources, innovation and creativity to do as we now have by making their very own pledges that put accessibility first,” says Chris Bruzzo, EVP of Optimistic Play, Industrial and Advertising and marketing at EA. “We welcome collaboration with others on how we transfer the trade ahead collectively.”

EA says it plans so as to add patents for future accessibility-related tech to the pledge, in addition to open-sourcing extra of its tech.