Niemeijer Consult has released SwitchXS 1.0, software for motor-impaired users who want to move to Mac OS X.
SwitchXS provides access to Mac OS X and standard Mac applications for people who can only use a single switch. It offers mouse and keyboard emulation by means of a so-called scanning mode. With each click on the switch, you select an action, such as “move the cursor up” or “type B” from a “scanning” menu.
SwitchXS provides several predefined scanning panels that you can choose to move the cursor, click, and type into all standard Mac applications. It also lets you set scanning speed and cycling, mouse speed, and SmartTransparency. The latter makes the scanning panel partially or fully transparent when no scan is underway.
SwitchXS works with most USB joysticks, gamepads, as well as switch interfaces that emulate such devices. And it can be used with a regular keyboard, as well as switch interfaces that emulate a keyboard.
A future version will add support for use with multiple switches. Also in the planning stage is an editor for designing custom scanning panels, word prediction facilities, and audio-speech feedback — all of which will be made available in the form of additional modules that will be sold separately but will be available at a reduced price for registered users.
SwitchXS is now available in English; a French version is due in September. It has a suggested retail price of US150 and requires Mac OS X 10. A demo version is available at the Niemeijer Consult Web site.