EA Makes Apex Legends’ Ping System and Other Accessibility Patents Free to Use

Now everyone will be able to make their games more accessible without royalty fees.

In an effort to make accessibility features more, well, accessible, EA is opening up five of its game development patents so other developers can use them in their own games.

In a post on its official site, the company says it’s allowing other developers to use these features royalty-free, so as to help create a more inclusive video game industry. Of the five patents, the one that most people will likely be readily aware of is the Ping System seen in Apex Legends, which allows players to highlight things of interest to teammates with the push of a button. Also included are automated image processing to help those with color blindness, and tech that generates audio for those with hearing problems.

More on video games and accessibility:

The full rundown reads as follows:

Ping System that allows players to transmit contextually aware audio and visual communications generated via mappable controller inputs.

Patent No.: US 11,097,189
Country: United States
Title: CONTEXTUALLY AWARE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM IN VIDEO GAMES
Date Issued:  August 24, 2021
Date added to pledge: August 24, 2021

Image processing that improves visibility of colors to optimize for color vision deficiencies.

Patent No.: US 10,118,097
Country: United States
Title: SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AUTOMATED IMAGE PROCESSING FOR IMAGES WITH SIMILAR LUMINOSITIES
Date Issued: November 6, 2018
Date added to pledge: August 24, 2021

Patent No.: CN 107694092
Country: United States
Title: SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AUTOMATED IMAGE PROCESSING FOR IMAGES WITH SIMILAR LUMINOSITIES
Date Issued: November 3, 2020
Date added to pledge: August 24, 2021

Automatically detecting contrast ratios in pixel regions of rendered frames and updating regions having subpar contrast ratios to meet contrast ratio standards or thresholds.

Patent No.: US 10,878,540
Country: United States
Title: CONTRAST RATIO DETECTION AND RENDERING SYSTEM
Date Issued:  December 29, 2020
Date added to pledge: August 24, 2021

Generating personalized music based on a user’s hearing information and stylistic preference to best comport with that user’s hearing issues.

Patent No.: US 10,790,919
Country: United States
Title: PERSONALIZED REAL-TIME AUDIO GENERATION BASED ON USER PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE
Date Issued:  December 29, 2020
Date added to pledge: August 24, 2021

Accessibility in video games has become a more prominent topic within the industry in the past few years, largely due to the work of advocacy groups like AbleGamers and outlets like Can I Play That? Accessibility options like subtitles, colorblind modes, and alternate controls are becoming more common, but these things are still far from standardized. So hopefully if the tech that helps make games more accessible is freely available, these things can become more widely expected.

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Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.

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