Hi folks. Fairly new to this site, but I am enjoying the content. I have 24 yr with DMD. Up until about a year ago, he was able to play his PlayStation 3 if we placed the controller in his hands and positioned his fingers on the buttons. He couldn't do everything, but he kept himself entertained for hours. He lost that last little bit of strength and movement in his hands and was unable to play for quite a while. He was pretty much stuck watching TV. We set him up with a laptop, microphone headset with Dragon Naturally Speaking and I was able to find an infrared attachment and software so that he could changes channels. We looked and looked for some kind of voice control for the PS3 and never really found a solution. Fortunately I one day stumbled on a website that specializes in various remote controls and some that were made to control a PS3 with infrared. The PS3 is bluetooth control only, and since a lot of people use the PS3 as a BluRay player, people were looking for a way to control the PS3 with a universal infrared remote instead of having to use multiple remotes for the various gear. While I was looking at those I came across one that could be attached to and controlled by a computer, and included a "virtual remote" for the computer to control the PS3. Wow! I immediately ordered one with high hopes. Unfortunately we could not get Dragon to "push" the buttons by speaking their function.
He could get it to work by commanding the mouse, but that is not practical when playing a game. So I emailed tech support and to my complete surprise they actually customized an program to work with Dragon! I guess we were sort of the beta testers for the software. It does not fully replicate all the functions of a of controller at this point, but he has the basics down and has been happily playing for weeks. The best part of all is that the vendor did not charge us for this and has made it available on their web site for others.

I am sharing all of this for two reasons:

First and foremost I hope that others can benefit from this. The product is the PS3IR-1000 at this site- http://www.schmartz.com and the downloads section has the virtual PS3 controller software that my son uses. I do think it's bit misleading that it says you can control the PS3 with your voice without explaining you need other software to do that. But it does make it possible, where once it was not. We actually bought it through Amazon.

The other is to ask for some feedback from the community. The company is interested in further developing and marketing the product but they are not sure of the potential customer base. Neither am I. As I said earlier, we tried to find something before can never came across anything. I don't know where else to ask, except the MD-List. Do any of you know of something similar out there?

I hope some of you can benefit from this. Please feel free to ask me for more information about my son's setup. I can hear him yelling at the game (he's playing football) as I write this, so he is fully engaged!

Thanks for listening.

-Steve Rushing

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Very cool that someone has thought of this. My son uses an xbox 360 for now. It is the way he deals with all of this, his way of escaping. My son is 19 and has no problem with the controllers yet.
WOW THIS IS AMAZING!!! Our son is only 6, but he loves loves loves LOVES his XBox, and I can't help with any other stuff, I just think it is an amazing thing!
Thanks so much for pioneering this for those of us who are quickly approaching the stage your son is at now. I've often wondered what will happen when he can't play his beloved games. Makes my heart hurt. :( But now, I'm going to check this out. Marian
Marian,
There may be more and better options, by they time your son needs them. It seems the video game makers are adding new ways to control games all the time. Video games are such a great escape for my son. I feel like it gives him the ability to "do" things he never could, like play football. He can imagine what it's like to have a fully functioning body. Last week he was being fitted for a new mask and one of the options was a full face mask, which of course would have interfered with his voice control. Poor guy came close to panic over the thought of losing his games and laptop control! Thankfully we are still using a nasal mask. Safe for now. Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Steve

I'm so excited to hear about this! After a short hospital stay my younger brother (20 years old) lost the ability to play PS3 over a year ago. It pains me to know that such a big part of his daily life was again taken from him. Just before Christmas he was put on a ventilator so he currently isn't able to speak, but hopefully in a few months he will be able to learn to talk again.

 

I added you as a friend Steve. Could you please get in touch with me so I can learn more about this technology? I don't quite understand how it would work, but the possibility of it is something I can't ignore.

 

Emily

thank you, Steve

 

hello ,HELP lol my son lost his abilty to play playstaion a few ago he use to love to play expecially football im  not great with technology  what  does he need  to get back  in the game ? he is 25 with duchenne md and help would be appreciated.

 

                              Diane

Diane,

 

I will try to help as best as I can. What are your son's abilities at the moment? My son can talk (on nasal BIPAP) but has almost no control of his hands and very little head movement because of spinal rods and muscle contractions. He cannot grip a controller at all, so everything has to be done by voice.

 

-Steve

 

@Steve:
I have found a piece of software that translates mouse movement into keystrokes which might help to overcome the lack of mouse-movement support (due to the principle how the ps3ir works) of the virtual controller software. It is called mouse raider: http://tinyurl.com/3lcqot6
this software uses arrow keys which is a problem because the virtual controller doesn't use those. At the moment I'm trying to circumvent that issue by redefining the keys but so far I haven't found a solution. if I find a way I will let you know.

has your son ever tried a headmouse? you wrote that your son only has very little head movement. I don't have much head movement either and I use this open source software called eViacam which is a sophisticated headmouse with click support. It utilizes a standard WebCam and can be adjusted so that it doesn't require much movement. http://eviacam.sourceforge.net/eviacam.php
should I find a way to redefine keys, the combination of those programs might be a good controller for the PlayStation3.

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