Google Describes API for USB Interaction on Web Pages

The folks over at Google have published a draft specification to the W3C Incubator Community Group to add methods for interconnecting USB-capable devices to web pages through JavaScript.

In an age where peripherals such as 3D Printers, virtual reality headsets and other interfaces beyond a mouse and keyboard are becoming common, it’s only natural the web would want to interact with it. But don’t get your hopes up, this is still a draft specification and much like many portions of the HTML5 specification back in 2009, adoption may be slow and not widely supported.

The new API could enable devices such as graphics tablets to connect to web pages.
The new API could enable devices such as graphics tablets to connect to web pages.

The API, named ‘WebUSB’ describes a platform for hardware manufacturers to write cross-platform software development kits using JavaScript for their new devices. Security concerns considered, a web-page would not be able to use a USB device to access your computer or any files it may hold in it’s internal memory.

This is exciting news for developers however as it could enable web applications, such as graphics editors and CAD tools to work in browser and interact directly with the graphic tablets and 3D printers.

Sources: [1] https://wicg.github.io/webusb/

About Matthew Hall 32 Articles
I am a developer and tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience working with a variety software stacks to create everything from websites to video games.

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