Multiple ways of inputing and accessing information on the web is standard in accessibility but with the proliferation of mobile, tablets, touch, games consoles, kiosks (you name it) things are changing.
Where we were lucky if websites were designed with keyboard only users in mind it’s necessary to think beyond keyboard and mouse to include voice, movement, gestures, touch, switches, device motion, heartbeats (yes)…the list is, well, infinite. Not least because it will evolve and never end.
For me this is nothing new and something that accessibility has understood and been tackling for decades. With the proliferation of devices however there is now a convergence where access technology, with all its wonderful ways of providing means of input, is now converging with the mainstream. What we traditionally thought of as ‘assistive technology’ is now becoming something that many of us use dependent on context and device, or simply for fun, rather than solely by need.
Luke Wroblewski did a talk at dConstruct this year on Infinite Inputs discussing input types and how our interfaces have to adapt. He only mentions accessibility once (which is a good thing), but the whole piece covers inclusive design and innovation perfectly. Have a listen: Infinite Inputs.