Two Google Developers Create API For Direct USB Access via Web Pages

Two Google Developers Create API For Direct USB Access via Web Pages

Two Google Developers Create API For Direct USB Access via Web Pages 

Two Google Developers Ken Rockot and Reilly Grant have introduced a draft document to the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Incubator Community Group (W3C WICG) detailing a newly created API called WebUSB  for directly connecting USB devices to web pages. It is intended for use as a Web connectivity platform for hardware manufacturers.

On March 21, The WebUSB API draft published describes an API (Application Program Interface) that will offer a safe way to expose USB-capable devices to Web services.

This API doesn't address USB thumb drives as some of us might think, but all devices that associate to PCs through USB ports, and can differ from USB keyboards to complex Internet of Things (IoT) equipment. The procedure is not meant for some sort of advanced file transfer, either; it’s to safely connect hardware to the Web without the requirement for a dedicated platform. 

As the two Googlers explain, "WebUSB does not attempt to provide a general mechanism for any web page to connect to any USB device." Its role is to make this process simple, not universal.


The two developers explain that the train of thought behind this API is to deliver a standard technology that browser vendors will receive their items and to provide hardware manufacturers with a base on which to build devices with Web abilities out of the box.  

In their proposal, the Googlers explain their aim: In their proposal, the Googlers explain their aim:

"With this, API hardware manufacturers will have the ability to build cross-platform JavaScript SDKs for their devices. This will be good for the Web because, instead of waiting for a new kind of device to be popular enough for browsers to provide a specific API, new and innovative hardware can be built for the web from day one," explained Reilly Grant and Ken Rockot. The duo added, "WebUSB does not attempt to provide a general mechanism for any web page to connect to any USB device."

The developers have also touched upon the privacy issues and security with their new WebUSB API and plan to manufacture a system named CORS or Cross-Origin Resource Sharing. The system "employed by browsers" will prevent page resources (for example, fonts, JS scripts) from requesting information from other domains apart from the initiated one.

"For devices manufactured before this specification is adopted information about allowed origins and landing pages can also be provided out of the band by being published in a public registry," they added. Developers can make suggestions at the WebUSB API GitHub repository.



The WebUSB API is accessible online on WICG's website, but it is still considered unofficial. Developers and vendors who need to make recommendations can do so by visiting its GitHub repository.
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About Priyanshu Sahay

A Social Media and Cyber Security Expert. Love to write about latest technology and Gadgets.

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